Tragic week for UWC after two students commit suicide, one dies in shooting

2018-11-29 17:00
Police tape. (Photo: Gallo Images, Getty Images)

Police tape. (Photo: Gallo Images, Getty Images)

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The University of the Western Cape is in mourning following the death of three students within the last week, it said on Thursday.

Two students, who are understood to have been dating, committed suicide within days of each other. A third student was shot dead at the weekend, apparently in Delft.

UWC spokesperson Cherrel Africa confirmed the recent deaths.

"The university has been in touch with the respective families. The parents have expressly indicated to us that as an institution, they do not want us divulging or discussing any details of their deaths. We therefore request that that the privacy of these families be respected during this difficult time," she said.

Two of the students were studying law and the third was studying towards an education degree.

"It is a profoundly sad time for the University of the Western Cape. We are grieving as a university community. Many of us are deeply affected as we reflect on their young lives," said Africa.

"We are living in a time where there is enormous pressure on all of us, especially young people."

The university offered first-year experience programmes, peer mentoring, support systems at residences and various academic support initiatives to support students.

Africa said it was necessary to pause and reflect on the realities of the pressures and traumas that those in the university community faced, and ways in which support systems could be enhanced.

UWC students who wish to access counselling for personal, social, familial and other concerns can contact the Centre for Student Support Services oncsss@myuwc.ac.za or 021 959 2299.

The SA Depression and Anxiety Group also has a 24-hour toll-free counselling helpline for UWC students. The number is 0800 222 333.

Staff members who require additional support can contact the Staff Wellness Helpline at 0800 205 333 or info@wellwork.co.za. 

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