Slain student receives PhD posthumously

2015-07-02 20:15


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Bloemfontein - When Belinda Mere walked up to the stage at the University of the Free State on Thursday, she was filling big shoes with a hint of sadness.

She had to accept the PhD posthumously conferred on her son Lehlohonolo Mathengtheng, who died last year whilst working towards his doctorate.

The 27-year-old Mathengtheng was a lecturer at the Department of Medical Microbiology and Virology at the university. He was found brutally murdered in his flat in Willows in September last year with his throat slit.

At the time of his death, Mathengtheng had completed five of the six chapters towards his thesis. After his death, Professor Felicity Burt, medical scientist and Mathengtheng’s promoter, applied for and received permission from the university to compile his thesis and submit it for examination.

His thesis investigated mosquito-borne viruses known to cause human disease. It also looked into identifying viral proteins with potential for application in vaccine development.

“Mathengtheng made a huge contribution to his research field in the department. He was very dedicated to completing his PhD. His presence is still sorely missed among his colleagues and friends who worked closely with him,” Burt said.

”He presented his work with such enthusiasm that he enthralled audiences and inspired younger students. He always had time to assist other members of the research group to prepare for their presentations, giving them academic advice and the confidence to stand up in front of an audience.”

Read more on:    ufs  |  bloemfontein

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