Student dies after drunk brawl in res

A second Walter Sisulu University student was killed in a residence, apparently with a bread knife during an alcohol-fuelled party in his room.

Final-year electrical engineering student Aphelele Ntobongwana, 22, from Libode, died on Sunday afternoon at Destiny Two male residence, in Wynne Street, Southernwood, East London.

East London police spokeswoman Hazel Mqala confirmed a 23-year-old man appeared in court yesterday in connection with the student’s death, but had no further details.

She confirmed they were investigating a case of murder.

The killing apparently happened in front of three other students at the end of a weekend of heavy drinking. The three have been taken for counselling.

In May this year, WSU final-year medical student Lwando Mantshontsho was killed at one of the university’s residences in Mthatha.

Five WSU students are on trial.

Yesterday, WSU spokeswoman Yonela Tukwayo confirmed the death of Ntobongwana.

Despite WSU’s campus-wide “no weapons” rule made a priority after the killing of Mantshontsho, Tukwayo said there was still a loophole.

“The student died was stabbed with a bread knife, which is necessary for students to have because all our residences are self-catering,” she said.

With the Mthatha incident, the council and management agreed a no-alcohol and no-weapons rule must be a priority for security companies employed at the various campuses.

“We have also brought partners on board to educate students about the dangers of alcohol abuse. Both this incident and the previous one were propelled by the over-consumption of alcohol,” said Tukwayo.

Ntobongwana’s uncle Hlanganisa Ntobongwana, 38, said the family was devastated.

“He is the third child of four and is the only one with a tertiary education. He comes from a rather poor background. His mother is in Johannesburg doing piece jobs to support the family in Libode.”

He said Aphelele was close to his family, especially his grandmother.

“When I broke the news, everyone in the house cried. Aphelele’s mother will be arriving today from Johannesburg to receive the body from the government mortuary with myself and my other brother. We will also be meeting the university management,” he said.

The residence houses 20 students.

“The campus rector, Dr Jaca, had a short meeting with the students in the res after the incident and has offered them counselling,” said Tukwayo.

A shocked Sibonile Mangaliso, who was in the room during the incident, said Ntobongwana had finally received his food allowance from NSFAS, after waiting since January.

After getting his payout, he bought food and alcohol for his friends who had helped him while he was waiting for his money.

The stabbing happened in a “split second”.

“They were very good friends. They did everything together, including their study work.

“They were even talking about how they were going to explain to their lecturer why they haven’t done their group work that they have been given to do over the weekend,” he said. —

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.