Mother calls for probe after son found dead in UFH pool

University of Fort Hare Alice Campus.
University of Fort Hare Alice Campus.
Image: Rod Bally

The mother of a University of Fort Hare student whose lifeless body was found floating in a swimming pool at the institution's Alice campus wants to know how he died.

S'bahle Mkiva, 20, was found dead on Saturday night. His mother, Nokrismesi Mkiva, 51, does not believe he drowned or that it was an accident.

Mkiva called for the police to do a throughout investigation and change the inquest docket into a murder investigation.

She says her views are founded on when she went to the mortuary and inspected the body. "I don't believe he drowned.” 

She believes her son was killed by other students and his body was dumped in the pool. 

UFH spokesperson Thandi Mapukata said the university would not speculate and would allow the police investigation to confirm the cause of death.

“Because the body was discovered in the university swimming pool, we can assume the student drowned. However, only the police can confirm the actual cause of death.”

Eastern Cape police spokesperson Brig Thembinkosi Kinana said a postmortem would confirm the cause of death.  “We can confirm that an inquest docket has been registered and is under investigation by Alice SAPS. The deceased's lifeless body was found floating in the campus swimming pool on 2 November 2019 at about 7pm. The circumstances surrounding the drowning will form part of the investigation.”

Witnesses on campus told the Daily Dispatch that S'bahle, a first-year library and information science student, was last seen on Thursday at a pool party on campus.

“My son reportedly went missing on Thursday and I was only alerted by friends that he was dead on Sunday. I collapsed. This thing was apparently all over social media already before it reached me.”