Clifton stabbing: Father of slain UCT student returning his body home to KZN

Mhleli Cebo Mbatha. (Supplied)
Mhleli Cebo Mbatha. (Supplied)

The family of slain first-year student Mhleli Cebo Mbatha is in the process of returning his body home to Dundee in KwaZulu-Natal, about 1 500km away.

His father Lindo Mbatha confirmed to News24 on Wednesday that he was in Cape Town to finalise these arrangements.

"The plan is to get [his] body home. It will be today. I am on [my] way now [to the mortuary]," he said.

The family intend to hold his funeral at home on Saturday.

While Lindo could not immediately comment on how the family was holding up, he shared their heartbreak earlier on social media and thanked everyone for their condolences.

"We have suffered a great loss with our dear son, our family hope. We therefore plead the government to escalate the efforts to eradicate this calamity that succumb our higher education institutions, taking the lives of our loved ones and the future of our young ones (sic)."

Mbatha, a humanities student, was stabbed in the chest during an apparent robbery at Clifton Third Beach in Cape Town on Saturday night.

He would have turned 19 next month.

His friend was stabbed in the leg and taken to hospital and two female students who were with them escaped physical injury.

According to his aunt, Sbongile Nxumalo, people wanted to take their cellphones.

She said he had warned his sisters to be careful after attending the funeral of fellow UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana, little did he know he would be next.

"He was a very good boy, a very humble person," an emotional Nxumalo said.

"You would always find him laughing and making jokes. When you were around him, you would feel his warmth."

READ: Clifton stabbing: 'He had warned his sisters to be safe' - slain UCT student's family

Western Cape police spokesperson Colonel Andrè Traut said on Wednesday that there were no new developments.

They were still investigating the circumstances of the murder and attempted murder.

HeraldLive reported that the stabbing took place on the steps heading down to the beach, quoting a security guard.

News24 understands that there were a number of CCTV cameras along the path that belonged to residents, although it was not immediately clear whether any footage had been shared with the police.

The Bungalow Owners Association of Bakoven, Clifton and Glen Beach have been trying to address safety and security risks along paths and public spaces for a number of years.

In a letter to members in January, it mentioned "the huge challenges our residents which our community faces in order to find a balance between public rights and residents' safety".

A meeting was held with various stakeholders following muggings and instances of violent crime.

Ward councillor Nicola Jowell was in contact with both the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the City's safety and security mayoral committee member JP Smith about the issue.

"SAPS remains the primary agency mandated to deal with safety and security issues but increasingly, the City's is trying to deploy resources to make up for the shortfalls... We need to ensure increased preventative policing," Jowell said.

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