Student murdered while trying to be early for NSFAS queue

SRC blames the Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein for slow service, forcing students to queue as early as 4am

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From left to right: Xoliswa Miso (family friend), Mampho Molaudi (Thato Molaudi’s mother), Morare Sekoai (his landlord), Nkhatho Molaudi (his uncle), George Mapane (his uncle), and Tlalane Molaudi (his aunt). Photos: Becker Semela

While on his way to queue for his NSFAS allowance, first-year BEd student Thato Molaudi was stabbed to death at King Edward Street, just outside the Central University of Technology (CUT) Bloemfontein campus at around 5am on Tuesday.

Third-year BEd student Lerato Khobeni was also stabbed, but survived and treated in hospital.

Thato was trying to be one of the first in the queue to verify himself for his NSFAS allowance. Students must be present with their cellphones to show they receive a one-time pin code and are registered at the university.

Four suspects were arrested on Wednesday and appeared before the Bloemfontein Magistrates’ Court on Thursday on charges of murder and assault with intention to cause grievous bodily harm.

The case was postponed to 18 April for formal bail application. Students picketed outside court, demanding bail be refused.

Thato’s aunt, Tlalane, said the family is devastated.

“He completed his Grade 12 in 2022 and it was his first year studying teaching as his dream course. He also wanted to be a rap singer,” she said.

CUT Vice Chancellor Pamela Dube said, “This is a great tragedy for the university … We offer our deepest condolences to the deceased’s family, faculty, and friends.”

“This unfortunate incident demands that we address the challenges staring at us immediately.”

She said CUT insists the Mangaung Metro Municipality takes decisive steps to ensure the safety and security of students.

SRC president Metsing Matlhaku said if the NSFAS processing had been efficient there would be no need for students to queue from 4am.

“Students are risking their lives walking from the township to be early for the queue,” he said.

He said students who arrived at 10am would not be processed the same day, but since the incident “we saw magic service”, with students arriving at noon being helped.

Student Zizakele Langveldt said she had queued on Friday and Monday and not been helped. She found other students and they walked in a group at 5am on Tuesday.

“We know we were risking our lives … but we had to be brave for NSFAS money because we need it,” said Langveldt.

Student Sipho Nqothi said he was nearly robbed on Monday at 6am by three young men with knifes. Luckily some by-passers chased off the robbers.

CUT students picketing outside the court.

TOPICS:  Crime Tertiary Education

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