Following the murders of four young women, three of them students, in and around the University of Venda campus, security is now under the personal watch of the vice chancellor (VC), and university management.
A delegation led by VC Prof Peter Mbati has recognised the urgent need for improved security to “mitigate against the assaults and murders experienced by” the university community.
Mbati said he was “completely devastated” when he received the news that a university staff member, cleaner Brenda Ndove, had been murdered on campus on June 22. This came just three months after the death of a female student, Livhuwani Mbodi.
In an effort to better understand the security risks faced by students, especially those living off campus, the VC visited all three of the off-campus residences. “We emphasised the need for improved security features at these residences,” he said, in a report issued to the university’s campus community last Wednesday.
Consisting of university management and student leadership, the delegation met last month to discuss and implement security for staff and students in a number of different ways.
These include the purchase of a security patrol vehicle, an increase in the number of security guards across campus, creating a community policing forum, the installation of more CCTV cameras all over campus and limited access to buildings, offices and residences on campus.
The delegation was assured by the South African Police Service (SAPS) that their concerns would be taken into serious consideration and according to Mbati, the municipality also gave its commitment in improving street lighting around the university’s main gate.
“I am hopeful that with the tightening of our internal security infrastructure, and with the support of the SAPS, we will significantly mitigate against the risk of violent crimes against our staff and students,” Mbati said.
Mbati encouraged students and staff to exercise caution and avoid walking alone in the dark or in the very early hours of the morning.
Last week, A 24-year-man, also a student at the university was arrested in connection with the spate of murders on the campus.
- Wits Vuvuzela: STORIFY: Limpopo student linked to murders and rape, July 24, 2014