TUT tragedy: Blue Bulls player implicated in alleged murder case

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Loftus Versfeld. (Photo by MB Media/Getty Images)
Loftus Versfeld. (Photo by MB Media/Getty Images)

The Blue Bulls Rugby Union released a statement on Friday saying they were alerted of allegations of a murder case involving a player who represented their Country Districts team last season.

News24 understands that the chemical engineering student is alleged to have stabbed his girlfriend, Ntokozo Mayenzi Xaba, to death at a Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) residence on Wednesday night.

The alleged perpetrator's name is known to News24 but cannot be named as he was yet to appear in court.

Police spokesperson Colonel Dimakatso Sello confirmed to News24 that the suspect was in custody and being questioned by police.

"It is reported that on 1 February 2023, the victim was drinking with friends, including her ex-boyfriend at a house in Pretoria Gardens," the police statement read.

"The friends reportedly left leaving the two together. The following morning, the victim was found dead with stab wounds on the neck. The ex-boyfriend has since been taken in for questioning by the police. Investigations continues."

The Bulls also commented. 

"Whilst we do not know all the details pertaining to the incident, we wish to reiterate that the Blue Bulls Rugby Union, its affiliates, partners and members, continue to stand in one voice, condemning all forms of gender-based violence in the strongest of terms," part of the Blue Bulls statement read.

News24 spoke to a former TUT rugby coach as well as an administrator involved with the university’s rugby programme on condition of anonymity, who informed the publication about the alleged perpetrator, a promising scrumhalf that played for their first team.

One of the sources gave details of the alleged incident.

"Yes, he’s one of our boys who killed his girlfriend," the informant told News24.

"The girlfriend had broken up with him and she was with someone else and he stabbed her multiple times at res and the West campus. She died Wednesday night but they found her yesterday (Thursday) morning.

"He was completing a chemical engineering degree at the time. They arrested him yesterday (Thursday) morning.

"Around 08:00 he was on campus for his practical work for chemical engineering, which is when he got arrested."

Ekhaya Junction Management, who manage the residence where the murder allegedly took place, released a statement saying they were made aware on Thursday morning that Xaba's friends were unable to get hold of her on her cell phone.

The statement read that the residence management and paramedics rushed to the scene where they found Xaba unresponsive in her room, from where she was declared dead. The statement also confirmed that the prime suspect was taken into custody.

"The investigation is still ongoing and statements have been taken from friends and employees. The prime suspect has been apprehended and taken into custody," the Ekhaya Junction Management statement read.

Willem Strauss, Blue Bulls Rugby Union president, conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the family of the young woman involved in the incident.

Read the full statement below:

Owing to social media messaging, the Blue Bulls Rugby Union has been made aware of an alleged murder case involving a young rugby player who represented the Blue Bulls Country Districts during the 2022 season.

Whilst we do not know all the details pertaining to the incident, we wish to reiterate that the Blue Bulls Rugby Union, its affiliates, partners and members, continue to stand in one voice, condemning all forms of gender-based violence in the strongest of terms.

Willem Strauss, President of the Blue Bulls Rugby Union, conveys a heartfelt message of condolences to the family of the young woman whose life has been untimely cut short.

“I would like to send my heartfelt message of condolences to a family whose world has been turned upside down. A family who lose a branch from their tree that was filled with so much promise of all that is good about life

“As a parent and grandparent, I cannot imagine the amount of pain and sorrow that fills your hearts at this very moment, a pain that is likely to linger for a long while because the void of losing a loved one is never easy, more especially when it is your child.

“We raise our children to see them rise and blossom into these incredible beings full of potential to change our world, and when their lives are cut short, we are never the same because we live in the empty wonder of what could have been. I hope and pray that, as a family, God’s love will bring you all the comfort you need in this terrible hour.

“South Africa continues to bleed, and that bleeding can only be stopped once our women, children and the vulnerable can be assured of their safety. A basic right that seems to be diminishing in value every day.

“As a father, I continue to urge and appeal to other parents out there that we are more intentional with our children as we look to educate, empower and equip them with the necessary life skills that encourage them to learn and deal with their emotions better and more responsibly. Perhaps - I do so today - with more urgency than yesterday because one more young woman has lost her life, and that should have never been the case.”

Due to the nature of the matter, the Union and the clubs cannot make any further comments at this stage and do wish that the family will find comfort in the hands of justice.

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