The University of Free State (UFS) and law enforcement have had enough of the recent murders of and attacks on students in the past week, who seemed to be the target by criminals across universities since 2019.
Yet another group of students were attacked on Sunday by three armed assailants who accosted their rented accommodation in Phuthaditjhaba.
One of the students managed to overpower one of the attackers and disarmed him, said district commissioner of the Mangaung metro policing, Major-General Arthur Adams.
“He overpowered this suspect, disarmed him and managed to shoot and wound him and his accomplice. In the process, one got away…”
This incident comes a week after three students were attacked and shot by three assailants in the early hours of the morning last Wednesday in Botjhabela Village. The students attended the UFS QwaQwa campus.
First-year social science student Sigcino Zimba, originally from KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), died at the scene.
While the other two students were immediately rushed to Mofumahadi Manapo Mopeli Regional Hospital, second-year administration student Thabani Manqele, also from KZN, died in hospital the following day.
The third student, however, survived the shooting and was discharged from hospital at the weekend, said rector
and vice-chancellor of the UFS Prof Francis Petersen.
Adams said the district commissioner of Phuthaditjaba believed that the modus operandi employed by the group of suspects on Monday, is similar to the one of last Wednesday.
But yet another death was reported last Wednesday, with second-year engineering student Wonder Dlamini being found dead in his room of one of the residences on the Bloemfontein campus.
Police were investigating the incident. Petersen said crimes and murders seemed to be prevalent among students over the past two years.
These included the dismembering of Fort Hare University law student Nosicelo Mtebeni in August. In the same month, a student from Walter Sisulu University was stabbed and killed in one of the university residences.
“Another Walter Sisulu University student died outside a bar. On 8 February, Yonela Boli, a 24-year-old Fort Hare University student died after allegedly being stabbed by a close female friend. About two weeks later, Boli’s friend, Olwethu Tshefu, a 30-year-old Fort Hare University student, was also stabbed to death.”
Following the attack of UFS students this past Sunday, two arrests were made.
“Two of the suspects are under police guard and an investigation is ongoing.
“Within the foreseeable future, we should conclusively be saying these are the suspects linked to the first incidents of the two students who were shot and killed, or not,” said Adams.