Students at the University of Zululand have been angered by the killing of a fellow student.
Tensions remain high at the University of Zululand (UniZulu) in KwaZulu-Natal following the fatal stabbing of a 19-year-old student on Sunday, September 16.
Nhlaka Ngwazi, a first-year student, had been stabbed to death in his room at the Sphetho residence on the Kwadlengezwa, allegedly by his roommate following a heated argument.
Shortly after the fatal stabbing, a group of students pursued and attacked a fellow student they believed to have been Ngwazi’s killer. A video and pictures depicting the severely injured unnamed student have since gone viral on Twitter.
Fourth-year Bcom Accounting student, Mlungisi Ndwandwe who was a bystander when the attack on the alleged perpetrator happened, spoke to Wits Vuvuzela about what he saw.
“The [alleged] stabber jumped out of the toilet window at the first floor of Sphetho residence and students ran after him with stones. Police officers and security assisted the guy by stopping students,” Ndwandwe said.
The mob persisted in their attempts to beat the alleged to get access to the alleged perpetrator but were eventually dispersed by the police with rubber bullets, according to Nwandwe.
The alleged perpetrator remains in hospital after he was rushed there by authorities following the mob attack.
Ndwandwe said that since the incident the police have maintained a strong presence on the campus.
Colonel Thembeka Mbele from the South African Police Services (SAPS) says that police are currently investigating a murder charge in relation to the death of Ngwazi. The suspect had made his first court appearance on Tuesday, September 18.
“The suspect appeared in court … in absentia because he is still in hospital,” Mbele told Wits Vuvuzela.
A statement released by UniZulu on Monday, September 17 indicated that the institution had launched an independent investigation which will run concurrently with the police investigation.
“The University abhors violence as a way of resolving conflict of any sort. It is especially opposed to the use of force and violence on campuses, as a way of resolving problems,” the statement read.
During an unscheduled visit to the university on Tuesday, September 18, South African minister of police, Bheki Cele, met with students and members of the Student Representative Council (SRC) to address the safety concerns of students. In videos circulating on Twitter showing the engagement between Cele and students, the latter can be heard expressing outrage about safety issues.
“There are currently no protests on campus but the students are very angry,” SRC Secretary General, Mduduzi Mnqayi told Wits Vuvuzela.
No arrests have been made in the mob justice attack but the police say they are still investigating the incident. The university has since offered counselling to all affected parties.
FEATURED PHOTO: Students are concerned about their safety at UniZulu.
- Wits Vuvuzela, Braam Safe Week to combat crime and violence, August 2018