Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Blade Nzimande, has conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of a fourth year law student at the University of Fort Hare, who was allegedly murdered by her boyfriend.
The Minister conveyed his condolences to the family of Nosicelo Mtebeni whose body was found mutilated in a suitcase in the suburb of Quigney in East London.
She was 23-years-old. Nzimande has condemned barbaric and shameful acts committed against women, both in institutions of learning and in society in general.
“Our society cannot continue harboring such disgraceful people and criminals, who are hell-bent to tear the moral fibre of our society apart. What is so even saddening is that the suspect would even commit such a gruesome act as we mark and celebrate Women’s Month,” Nzimande said on the weekend.
He said that he trusted that the criminal justice system will ensure speedy prosecution. This as a suspect has since been arrested and is expected to appear in court on Monday.
The Minister said the department remains committed to creating a safer and caring post-school education and training environment, with a concerted focus on safety and protection of all in the campuses, in particular female students and staff.
He said the department has also mandated HIGHER HEALTH – an entity of Higher Education and Training responsible for implementing programmes against gender-based violence (GBV) in university and Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college campuses – to work together with the University of Fort Hare to provide psychological support to students and all affected parties.
The Minister also expressed his gratitude to the leadership demonstrated by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Sakhela Buhlungu, for considering ways to best honour Mtebeni and for offering emergency trauma debriefing sessions to students.
He further urged all institutions to vigorously implement the framework for gender equality, as developed by his department and the sector.
“By working together, by confronting difficult challenges, and by mobilising everyone in and around our institutions, we shall create a society where everyone, especially women, feels safe and are safe at all times and in all places,” Nzimande said.