Lelona Thembakazi Fufu, 23, a Rhodes University student, was murdered while hitchhiking to her graduation ceremony late last week.
Her body was found in Addo Road in Port Elizabeth on Friday. She had knife wounds to her chest and neck.
"At this stage it seems that she was murdered in a robbery. Her clothes were still on her body and her valuables were gone," police spokesperson André Beetge told News24.
Beetge told News24 they hoped to start arresting suspects soon.
Fufu was due to receive her BSc Honours degree at a ceremony at the University in Grahamstown on Thursday evening.
She was last seen at 14:00 when she left her house in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth.
Fufu's family arranged to travel to Grahamstown later in the afternoon, but lost contact with her after 14:30, and reported her missing to the police after 19:00 on Thursday, Rhodes University spokesperson Zama Matiwana told News24.
"We’re all shocked about what happened to her," Matiwana said.
Matiwana said they are planning to hold a memorial service for Fufu which will be confirmed once they receive a funeral date from her family.
He said the incident is even more tragic because of her death right before her graduation.
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