Wits University issued an update early this morning about the deaths of seven students in Limpopo over the weekend. The update is reproduced in full below.
“Several Wits delegations including members of the Wits Students’ Representative Council, the Dean of Student Affairs Dr Puleng LenkaBula and the Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Habib travelled to Limpopo yesterday where they met with the families and friends of some of our students who passed away in an accident on Sunday night.
The delegation worked with police to identify the seven students who had passed away so that the police could inform their next of kin. The students hail from several faculties and are in different years of study. They are also from different provinces. Many students belong to the Wits ZCC student society.
The delegation met with the MEC for Health in Limpopo and visited the six survivors at various hospitals in Mokopane. Wits is working with the provincial department of health to arrange for the transfer of some of the students to Gauteng-based hospitals if the necessary treatment is not available in Mokopane.
Investigations are still underway but preliminary reports indicate that the minibus carrying the students crashed into the back of a stationary trailer that was on the road, causing the minibus to burst into flames. The students were travelling back from a prayer meeting in Limpopo,
The University flag has been lowered and is flying at half-mast in honour of the memory of our students who passed away. A memorial service will be arranged after consultation with the families.
We understand that many students and staff may be traumatised by this news and we urge you to contact CCDU if you require any assistance at all. CCDU has counsellors on hand to assist anyone during this difficult period. If you cannot physically go to the CCDU offices, please call (011) 7179140/32 and they will call you back.
Condolences are being received from across the country as well as from staff, students, unions and others in the Wits community.
The untimely loss of our students is an absolute tragedy and our deepest condolences are extended to those who knew them well, especially during this very difficult time.
Further details will follow later today.”