CUT shaken by death

2016-03-30 06:00
THE Western Cape police say an autopsy has been done and an inquest will be held to determine the cause of death of CUT student Itumeleng Choane (25), who died in Cape Town.             Photo: Supplied

THE Western Cape police say an autopsy has been done and an inquest will be held to determine the cause of death of CUT student Itumeleng Choane (25), who died in Cape Town. Photo: Supplied

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THE Western Cape police say an autopsy has been done on Itumeleng Choane (25), who was found dead in his hotel room last Wednesday (23/03) in Cape Town.

Choane was a student at the Central University of Technology (CUT), Free State.

Western Cape police spokesperson Const. Noloyiso Rwexana said an inquest would now be held by the police to determine the cause of death.

Originally from the Freedom Square location in Bloemfontein, Choane was due to complete his National Diploma in Civil Engineering this year.

According to the spokesperson of the CUT, Dan Maritz, the young Choane, a transformation officer in the Students’ Representative Council, passed away in his sleep. He was on an official tour with fellow SRC members to the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) at the time.

The CUT SRC president, Solomon Khiba, told Volksblad, parent paper to Express, that members of the SRC had called the ambulance on Wednesday morning when Choane had failed to wake up in his hotel room.

“His pillows had blood on them, but he had no wounds,” said Khiba.

Khiba said paramedics declared Choane dead at the scene and suggested that Choane might have suffered from an epileptic attack.

The SRC president commended Choane for his contribution towards transformation at the institution and for speaking out against racism.

The CUT will hold a memorial service for Choane during the week, Maritz said.

“As a university, we have never had a tragedy of this nature in the past and we are extremely shocked by what has happened to Choane. We cannot make speculations as to what could have happened at this point in time, but we consider this as a very unfortunate incident,” said Dr Nothemba Mrwetyana, registrar at the CUT.

“The impact of his work will never go unnoticed here at CUT. We shall remember him for his contributions in student leadership and for making us grow as a formidable centre of learning – a place of scholarship for young people in this country. He and his fellow leaders inspire us to believe more in what we do and to forever strive towards excellence.

“We wish to express our condolences to Itumeleng’s family, who has to bear the full impact of this tragedy. We feel your loss and we are thinking about you in this critical moment of grief,” said Mrwetyana.

EFF provincial secretary, Mandisa Makhesini, expressed her sadness at the passing of Choane and passed condolences to his family and friends.

Makhesini said Choane had been a passionate EFF member who served the political party within the CUT structures.

As a university, we have never had a ­tragedy of this nature in the past and we are extremely shocked by what has happened to Choane.

Dr Nothemba ­Mrwetyana

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