Fort Hare law students undergo therapy after student's body parts found in East London street

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The University of Fort Hare.
The University of Fort Hare.
Photo: Archive
  • The body parts of a 23-year-old University of Fort Hare LLB student were found in East London on Thursday.
  • Her boyfriend, who she shared an apartment with, has been arrested for murder.
  • The university is organising mass trauma counselling for students.

Law students at the University of Fort Hare (UFH) will received trauma counselling after body parts of a final-year law student were found stuffed in two bags in a street in East London on Thursday morning.

The university said it was organising mass trauma counselling for all law students who studied with the deceased.

The student's name is being withheld until her family has been informed of her death.

On Thursday, UFH said a delegation from the university would travel to the victim's home in Matatiele with police officials to inform the student's family.

University of Fort Hare spokesperson JP Roodt said:

The University of Fort Hare's student wellness unit has been deployed and is ready to provide trauma counselling to students who studied, knew and interacted with the deceased student.

A 25-year-old man from Mdantsane has been arrested on a charge of murder after allegedly beheading the student before chopping her body into pieces.

UFH East London campus SRC president Sandiso Mbulawa, who is also a final-year law student, described the victim as a well-mannered student.

Mbulawa said:

Since I have been in the ranks of leadership, I have never had any problem or any contention with her, and I never heard any bad news about her.

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Police said the suspect and the victim were dating and living together.

Residents led police to the corner of Fleet Street and Fitzpatrick Road, where a suitcase and black sport bag containing the victim's body parts were found.

Police discovered more body parts in a Quigney apartment shared by the suspect and the murdered woman.

The University of Fort Hare said the student resided in off-campus private accommodation in East London and studied at its East London campus.

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Roodt added:

GBV (gender-based violence) and femicide is an issue that continues to beleaguer society and establishments in higher education, not just in South Africa but worldwide. We mourn the death and untimely passing of a Fort Harian, and we condemn this crime that was committed during Women's Month.

Mbulawa said the student community has been left shattered by the incident.

He was at an induction ceremony of the newly elected SRC at university's head campus in Alice when word of the incident broke.

"As the SRC, we always condemn any acts of gender-based violence and femicide. We are very shattered and saddened by this news," said Mbulawa.

Eastern Cape police spokesperson Brigadier Thembinkosi Kinana said once the suspect is charged, he is expected to appear in the East London Magistrate's Court on a charge of murder on Friday.

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Eastern Cape police commissioner Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga strongly condemned the incident.

"This is one of the devastating scenes women do not want to see during this Women's Month. The incident represents a manifestation of the stubbornness of gender-based violence and femicide incidents, which are endemic within our society," said Ntshinga.

The gruesome discovery was made by residents, who then flagged down a patrolling police van and informed the officers.

"Whilst at the scene, police received information that a 25-year-old suspect believed to be linked to the murder was found and immediately arrested by intelligence [officers]. Further investigation, which led the police to the house where the two lived, a plastic bag with other parts of the body was also discovered," Kinana said.

"Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspect and deceased were in a relationship and have stayed together for some time," Kinana added.

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