The United Democratic Movement Women’s Organisation (Udemwo) has expressed its shock at the “beastly behavior” of students at the University of Fort Hare, in Alice, in the past month.
On 8 February, Yonela Boli was allegedly killed by his girlfriend at the institution.
“It has come to Udemwo’s attention that Olwethu Tshefu was the key witness to the murder of Yonela Boli. He was also killed over the weekend [Saturday 22 February] by an unknown man. What is surprising is that, according to reports, these two victims were friends,” said Udemwo secretary-general Thandi Nontenja.
University of Fort Hare murders: Has GBV tables turned?
Udemwo said one might believe the tables of gender-based violence (GBV) have been turned.
“In a country that is fighting gender-based violence, one might believe that the tables have been turned. It is now females against males. What has our nation become?” asked Nontenja.
Udemwo said it is understood that, in most cases, these young students kill one another over petty things under the influence of alcohol.
“So much has happened since the beginning of this year. So many lives have been lost, yet one life lost, is one too many. Parents send their children to universities to be educated and not to be killed,” she said.
Two student murders in two weeks
As reported by Dispatch Live, Tshefu’s evidence was crucial in the homicide investigation of Boli. Tshefu was walking with a group of mates when he was stabbed in his upper torso by an unidentified man.
According to police spokesperson Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana, the Fort Hare student died upon arrival at Alice’s Victoria Hospital.
“He was treated by paramedics and rushed to hospital afterwards, where he succumbed to his wound upon arrival,” Kinana noted in a statement.
Ironically, Tshefu died on the same day his friend, Boli, was buried in Seplan, a village situated in Cala, Eastern Cape.
Udemwo condemns the president’s ‘lip service’
Udemwo also said there is very little being done by university management and the Department of Higher Education to curb the scourge.
“South African citizens have had enough of talk shows and lip service by President Cyril Ramaphosa. It is clear that the president and his government have no solution to this predicament, hence Udemwo calls for an imbizo of all stakeholders to find a solution,” she said.
“We cannot have this untenable situation to continue at our institutions of higher learning. Udemwo would like to express its heartfelt condolences to the family of Olwethu Tshefu. May their precious son’s soul rest in eternal peace,” she added.