Ricochet News

Security to be tightened after student killed by roommate in drunk rage

By Yolanda Palezweni - Aug 29, 2017
Security to be tightened after student killed by roommate in drunk rage

The Walter Sisulu University on Monday said that it will tighten campus security rules and have introduced a campaign to curb alcohol abuse after a 23-year-old student, Aphelele Tobongwana, was stabbed and killed at an off-campus residence in East London by a fellow student.

According to the institution spokesperson, Yonela Tukwayo, since the last incident where a final year medical student was killed in Mthatha, the institution has decided to introduce the campaign to fight alcohol abuse.

“The student died on Sunday after being stabbed by his roommate at an off-campus residence in Southernwood, East London, both students were doing Electrical Engineering, and the deceased was from Libode and the alleged killer from Mthatha,” described Tukwayo.

She added that, security personnel were briefed to monitor and ensure that the No Alcohol in Residence rule is now applied.

According to eyewitness, Masixole Funani, also a Walter Sisulu University student residing at the residence, the alleged killer, Siyamvumela Mdzamela, was highly intoxicated at the time of the incident. 

He said that Mdzamela had received his National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) food allowance and exchanged it for cash and bought the alcohol.

“They were six students altogether, and they smuggled alcohol inside the residence premises on Sunday and hosted a party,” said Funani.

He added that after the alcohol finished, they insisted that the deceased give them money to buy more alcohol and a fight broke out.

“The victim got angry and went out with the roommate and started the argument, he then got stabbed in the chest. He was accompanied by one of the drinking-mates to the hospital few minutes after the incident, where he died soon afterwards,” said Funani.

Funani told RNEWS that alcohol smuggling into residence is very common and sometimes security guards are aware of it and do nothing.

“Students forever host parties within the premises, but nothing is being done,” he claimed.

He added that a meeting with the residence office was held and it was agreed that alcohol was not allowed inside the premises, but then again students continue to smuggle in the alcohol.

“We still at disbelief of what happened yesterday, it is not the first time incident like this happens in our institution and we are not safe at all,” Funani said.

“I don’t drink alcohol and don't do drugs, but I fear that if this continues, I’ll be also affected - I am scared,” he concluded.

The alleged killer will appear in court on Tuesday facing murder charges.

Both students’ families have been informed and the legal guardian of the deceased is due to arrive in East London on Tuesday.