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Obituary: Sibulele Mgudlwa

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Nonkululeko Njilo
June06/ 2017

Wits University’s SRC president 2012/2013 has died. 

Wits University has lost one of its famous sons, former SRC president and alumnus, Sibulele Mgudlwa.

Sibulele Mgudlwa was born on December 17, 1991, in Bisho in the Eastern Cape. He attended the Abundant Life Christian School but later moved to Central Primary School where he was considered a great achiever.

In 2005, Mgudlwa moved to Dale College Boys High School in King William’s Town, where he was a member of the debating society which helped to hone his strong public speaking skills.  He excelled academically and in debating and was awarded half colours for these achievements.  He was also the editor of his school magazine at the time.

He matriculated in 2009 with six distinctions.

In 2010, Mgudlwa enrolled for a BCom Accounting degree at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

At Wits, he joined organisations such as South African Students Congress Organisation (SASCO), Young Communist League (YCL) and the ANCYL (ANC Youth League).

In 2011 he was elected as chairperson of the YCL, and the secretary of SASCO Wits branch. The following year he was elected chairperson of the Accounting School Council (ASC), and later appointed as chairperson of the Students Forum.   Just three years after coming to Wits, Mgudlwa was elected the SRC president, at which point he dedicated himself to serving over 30 000 students.

He was involved in various political groups such as “The Young Lions” and “The Wits Mafia”.

Despite his involvement in these groups, Mgudlwa was loved and respected by all around him despite their allegiances because of his humble spirit and caring heart. He was a fighter for justice both religiously and politically.

On Wednesday, May 31, Wits University, celebrated the life of the former president in the Great Hall a few days after the university lowered its flags to half-mast in his honour.

“I don’t have the words to describe what he meant to me as a person, but he’s my brother … I love you brother,” said Shafee Veracia, SRC president 2013/2014.

“He has led and served and did his best, one would have to work very hard to find something wrong he did and that’s how much of an amazing individual he was. I am glad we got to tell him that while he was still a student and to a point of making him SRC president … this is an unbelievable loss,” said Morris Masutha, CEO of Thusanani Foundation and SRC president 2010/2011.

“He was a very special person, he gave me hope in times of tribulations. At a young age he touched a lot of souls, May his soul rest in peace”, said current Witsie, Sthembiso Mdlalose, Sociology honours.

Mgudlwa passed away at the age of 26 due to an extended illness.

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Nonkululeko Njilo