Wits University student, 20, stabbed to death, allegedly by partner

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Asithandile Zozo was stabbed to death.
Asithandile Zozo was stabbed to death.
Twitter/zozitunzi
  • Wits University student Asithandile Zozo was stabbed to death in the Eastern Cape.
  • The perpetrator was allegedly someone she had been in a relationship with.
  • He overdosed on tablets, but will be charged with murder once discharged from hospital.

A first-year student was stabbed to death in Dutywa in the Eastern Cape, allegedly by a man she had been dating.

Eastern Cape police identified her as 20-year-old Asithandile Zozo.

Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana said the man was seen "chasing his girlfriend at the flats where she was residing" before allegedly stabbing her on Monday afternoon.

"The motive behind the murder is not known and forms part of the investigation," he said.

"The suspect whose age is not known has been admitted at Butterworth Hospital after he overdosed himself with tablets. He is under the police guard and, once he is discharged, he will be charged for murder."

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Wits University spokesperson Shirona Patel said they strongly condemned all forms of gender-based harm.

"The loss of a young life is one too many - our hearts and prayers are with her family and friends, and those who knew Asithandile well. May she rest in peace."

The university was in contact with her family and had offered counselling and support.

Charlene Beukes, Director of the Wits Gender Equity Office, described Zozo as a determined and driven young woman.

"He [the suspect] had threatened that he would take her life if she left him. His family asked her to stay for her own safety," she said.

Beukes said Zozo's death came a year after that of UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana, 19, who was raped and killed by Luyanda Botha at the Clareinch Post Office in Cape Town on 24 August 2019.

Botha is currently serving three life terms for the crimes.

Problem

"It is no longer enough for the government to tell us that they are putting together teams to evaluate the problem and come up with solutions. The problem is clear: women are being murdered in shocking numbers by men in South Africa," said Beukes.

"Women live in fear of being murdered in their homes, workplaces, schools, universities, family homes, post offices, velds, parks, vineyards, holiday destinations and streets."

Eastern Cape provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga condemned the brutal attack.

"Our sisters, mothers, aunts and South African women are dying unnecessary deaths at the hands of their lovers, people who are supposed to love, care and protect them.

"We call on all social partners to create awareness, educate and help the police to fight the scourge of violence and murder of our women and children," she said.

Zozo's loved ones remembered her fondly on social media, and called for justice.

Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi was left speechless by the news.

It is understood that a march is being organised in Dutywa for Thursday.

Students who need counselling can contact the CCDU (counselling and careers development unit) via info.ccdu@wits.ac.za or call the Wits Student Crisis Line on 0800 111331 (24/7, toll free) for help.

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