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UFS to lay out plans to tackle crime against students

Staff Reporter

The University of the Free State (UFS) is set to announce plans to fight crime against students following a robbery which left two of them dead in in QwaQwa last week. 

UFS rector and vice-chancellor Professor Francis Petersen and provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Baile Motswenyane will brief the media on Wednesday on the security challenges faced by students in the Free State and the measures being put in place to ensure improved safety both on and off campus. 

A statement issued by the university quotes Petersen declaring war on criminals targeting students and urged communities to assist. 

“Enough is enough,” said Petersen.

“The role of the university, the police, and society in responding to the pandemic of crime and violence should be clear and decisive,” he added.

Student Affairs executive director Temba Hlasho, Protection Services senior director Noko Masalesa and Institutional Student Representative Council president Jerry Thoka will also be part of the briefing. 

Last week, two UFS students at the QwaQwa campus were killed in a robbery which the university has described as a “senseless attack”. 

According to the police, a group of students renting rooms at Botjhabela Village near Phuthaditjhaba were allegedly attacked and shot by unknown three suspects in balaclavas in the early hours of Wednesday.

The assailants demanded cash, laptops and cellphones from them. 

Upon arrival at the scene of the shooting, the police found two bodies of males lying on the ground with fatal gunshot wounds.

 Two other male students had already been rushed to Mofumahadi Manapo Regional Hospital and were in a critical condition. The other student succumbed to his injuries the following day.  

The police confirmed that two male students died on the scene.

However, one of those who died on the scene was not a UFS student but was studying at one of the colleges in the area. 

This means a total of three male students have perished from the attack, two of which are from the UFS. 

It’s believed the students were having a party and drinking when three men pounced on them demanding their belongings. 

No arrests have been made and police are appealing to anyone with information that may lead to the arrests and conviction of the suspects to contact Colonel Morena Motloung of Phuthaditjhaba Detective Service on 082 479 3313 and Captain Boy Makubu on 082 332 3418 or Crime Stop, 08600 10111 or MySapsApp.

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