Murders, Muggings, Rape: College Students Under Siege From Assailants

Johannesburg – Thabang Ndlovu is the latest college student to be murdered.  

The 19-year-old student at Aaron Moeti Community College was stabbed to death on Thursday, (23 February 2023) at a sports ground, where his body was found by locals and fellow students.

On the same day, three University of Fort Hare female students were mugged and assaulted on their way to the university’s Alice campus.

One of the students was killed and another was raped on the Tyhume River Bridge that connects the town of Alice with the university campus.

At the weekend, Higher Education, Science, and Innovation Minister Dr. Blade Nzimande said he was “outraged and strongly condemns the continuing murder of the Post School Education and Training students”.

Two weeks ago, on Sunday, (12 February 2023), Eastcape Midlands TVET College students, Busiwe Notyawe, Sesethu Dweba, and Asanda Ngubo were murdered at a public entertainment venue.

Preliminary police investigations indicate that the students were socialising at house Kwazakele when an unknown gunman forced the door open and fired shots at them.  

The motive for the killing is still under investigation.

At the time of their unfortunate death, the students were enrolled for N5 Management Assistant and Financial Management at the College’s Heath Park Campus in Qgeberha.  

Last week, on Tuesday, (21 February 2023), a 22-year-old male student at Sydney Maseko Community College, Lesego Tsindo, was stabbed to death close to where he lives.

Concerned by the rising number of attacks on students, Minister Nzimande on Sunday called on law enforcement agencies to investigate all the cases and bring the assailants to book.

Minister Nzimande urged members of the public who might have information to help with the investigations into the murders to contact the police.

The minister appealed to students to be more circumspect on and off campus.

He also called on tertiary institutions to establish institutional community safety and security forums.

“We must recognise that our Post School Education and Training (PSET) sector is a microcosm of our greater society,” said Minister Nzimande.

“This is clearly demonstrated in the manifestation and in many instances of reproduction of social pathologies on our campuses such as rape, violent murders, mostly against women.”

Minister Nzimande encouraged Vice Chancellors (VC) and TVET College Principals to continue to engage with the Department of Higher Education and Training on all security-related issues.

The minister sent “his heartfelt condolences” to all the families of the deceased students, their friends, and all the institutions where the students were enrolled.

He wished those in the hospital a speedy recovery.