Minister Blade Nzimande sends condolences on deaths of Fort Hare and Vhembe TVET College students

11 Feb 2020

Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology statement on the fatal death of University of Fort Hare and two Vhembe TVET College students

The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Dr Blade Nzimande, is deeply saddened and wishes to pass his deepest condolences to the family, friends and fellow students of the University of Fort Hare on the passing of Yonela Boli, 24, - a MSc geology student, who died at Victoria Hospital in Alice following his stabbing at the university’s Alice Campus, Lona Residence.

According to the Eastern Cape Department of Health, Boli arrived at the hospital at about 4am on Saturday with a 3cm stab wound in his back. On arrival to hospital, Boli was immediately seen by the doctor but died an hour later when he went into cardiac arrest.

“I denounce such barbaric and shameful acts against Boli and commend the swift arrest of the suspect, who is a senior student and a close friend of Boli,” said Minister Nzimande.

“In dealing with the spate of violent attacks on students on and off our campuses, we are currently finalizing the Policy Framework on Gender-Based Violence for the postschool sector. This policy will guide the whole sector in its management of and response to gender-based violence,” said Minister Nzimande.

The Minister further said that leadership of Universities South Africa (USAf) is working with the Department of Higher Education and Training to develop a joint plan of action towards a plan to address campus security, including preventing acts of violence, and gender-based violence.

“We agreed that this would include a process to gather information on the status of safety and security plans and strategies on campuses across the country, and to identify urgent matters to address at individual institutions”, said the Minister.

This will include looking at infrastructure requirements for better security on campuses that could be funded through the department’s infrastructure and efficiency fund.

Minister Nzimande also passes his condolences to the two Vhembe TVET College students who died after being knocked down by an allegedly drunk driver in Thohoyandou on Friday, the 7th February 2020.

“I pass my deepest condolences to the family, friends and fellow students of Forgiveness Sebola and Hope Mukovhanama,” said Minister Nzimande.

The Minister further commend the law enforcement agencies for arresting the 31-year old man for culpable homicide and driving under the influence of alcohol.

In another unrelated incident, another TVET student, Tshidi Mocheko, aged 27 was gruesomely murdered in Lephalale and law enforcement agencies have launched a manhunt for this murderer.

Minister Nzimande also extends his condolences to her family, friends and fellow students and urges the authorities to swiftly arrest her murderer.

Ishmael Mnisi
Cell: 066 037 8859

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