Blind student opens up about attack on a Wits bus

Wits student Sisanda Msekele, who was attacked on a Wits circuit bus and hospitalised since last Friday night was discharged yesterday morning. She chatted briefly to Wits Vuvuzela about her ordeal. Wits University’s Campus Control Director, Robert Kemp, said the SAPS and Campus Control Investigations Section are investigating the matter. 

Wits Master’s graduate Sisanda Msekele, who was attacked and hospitalised last Friday night, was discharged yesterday morning after recovering from the severe injuries she sustained in the attack.

STRONGER: Sisanda Msekele and her guide dog Romy on the steps of Great Hall after her graduation at Wits University yesterday. Photo: Samantha Camara.

STRONGER: Sisanda Msekele and her guide dog Romy on the steps of Great Hall after her graduation at Wits University yesterday. Photo: Samantha Camara.

Msekele, who was discharged from Milpark hospital in Parktown yesterday morning, said she sustained a “severe bite on her upper lip”, had marks on her legs and bite marks on her hand and nipple.

“The girl who attacked me tried to go for my nipple,” Msekele said. “She was going for my nipple,” she reiterated.

Msekele, who is usually accompanied by her protective guide dog, Romy, said she was with a friend when the incident occurred and had left her dog at home. Msekele has declined to reveal the identity of her friend.

Robert Kemp, director of Wits Campus Control said that the incident was reported around 21h30 on Friday night.

“It is believed that the suspect is also a student,” Kemp added.

Kemp said Wits Campus Control officers went to Milpark Hospital, to gather details of the incident from Msekele on Friday night.

“The matter is currently being investigated by the SAPS [at Hillbrow police station] and Campus Control Investigations Section,” Kemp said.

Msekele told Wits Vuvuzela that “the experience has been very overwhelming” and that she needs some time before she can talk about it more openly.

Student attacked on Wits bus makes it to graduation

Wits student Sisanda Msekele graduated in the Great Hall today after she was attacked on a Wits bus on Friday night and spent the weekend in hospital. 

Sisanda Msekele, a blind doctoral (PhD) student managed to make it to her Anthropology Masters graduation ceremony earlier today despite an attack on Friday night that left her in the hospital.

Msekele arrived late to the Humanities ceremony and was escorted up the Great Hall stairs and into the hall by an unidentified woman. Msekele received her degree together with her guide dog Romy, as both were cheered on by most of the auditorium. Some members of the academic procession rose from their seats to give Msekele a standing ovation as she was capped by the vice chancellor Professor Adam Habib.

STANDING TALL: Sisanda Msekele stands outside the Great Hall after her graduation despite being admitted to hospital on Friday after she was attacked on a Wits ciruit bus.

STANDING TALL: Sisanda Msekele stands outside the Great Hall after her graduation despite being admitted to hospital on Friday after she was attacked on a Wits ciruit bus. Photo: Samantha Camara.

Even those in the overflow room could be heard clapping and shouting in celebration. The applause continued for longer than usual and many were moved to tears by Msekele’s achievement. Fellow blind student Melusi Ncala, who also received his Masters degree, was cheered on by the audience when he took to the stage shortly after Msekele.

“I am feeling overwhelmed,” Msekele told Wits Vuvuzela after taking photos on the Great Hall steps with her friends and family.

Msekele was determined to attend her graduation ceremony despite the minor injuries she sustained on Friday night. She was attacked on a Wits circuit bus while on her way home. The attacker is yet to be identified but is a Wits student, according to reports.

Earlier this year, Msekele was almost left homeless when she was denied funding.  She was later given the funding she needed to register for her PhD.

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Student attacked on Wits bus days before graduation

Wits student Sisanda Msekele, who was attacked on a Wits circuit bus on Friday night, spent the weekend in Milpark hospital in Parktown, Johannesburg. Her attacker has not yet been identified, but is reportedly a fellow Wits student.

Sisanda Msekele, a blind Wits Masters student, found herself confined to a hospital bed this weekend after she was attacked by a fellow Wits student.

Msekele said the incident took place on Friday night, on a Wits bus, when she was on her way back to her residence at West Campus Village. She declined to comment further until she has recovered from her injuries.

A series of tweets yesterday from talk show host and Sunday Times columnist, Redi Thlabi, said Msekele’s attacker mocked her “dream of a PhD” which led to an argument, and the subsequent attack.

Thlabi added that Msekele had been searching for a job since the beginning of the year and was due to start tomorrow.

Msekele faced homelessness and financial problems earlier this year. She was fortunate enough to have received financial assistance from the university and the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) which allowed her to remain in residence and made it possible for her to register for her PhD.

Msekele has been in Milpark hospital since the attack and could possibly miss her graduation on Tuesday. 

Msekele is optimistic that she will be discharged from Milpark hospital tomorrow, depending on the progress of her recovery.

Wits Campus Control was not able to comment on the incident. 

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