TSHWANE University of Technology (TUT) students in Soshanguve outside Pretoria are living in fear as criminals
terrorise and target those living outside campus’ residences.
Students have told African Times that they have experienced an increase in muggings and that has fuelled fears of females falling victim to rape.
The fears were heightened by an incident which occurred on March 24 where a student was allegedly killed during a mugging in Block L.
It is believed that the student was walking back to his room with a female when a group of armed suspects confronted and mugged them at knife-point before stabbing him to death.
Student Representative Council deputy president Freddy Khoza said the recent crime sprees were disturbing.
He called for more police visibility within communities to combat crime.
Khoza blamed the alcohol outlets situated just metres from the campuses as contributing factors to the crime.
“Many attacks are sparked by the proximity of taverns near the entrance of the North campus. “These acts incite fear. Instead of moving us forward it takes us backward,” said Khoza.
The attacks have driven some of the students at the institution into serious depression with some harbouring
In March, Neo Mojela was found dead in his room in Block L. It was believed he hanged himself.
Mojela, a third-year local government student, was found naked and hanging from the ceiling of his room by his cousin after he failed to write a test.
William Mogologa, a student at the Soshanguve North Campus, said that he did not feel safe walking off campus as many students were robbed of their belongings.
University spokesperson Willa de Ruyter said that they were aware of the incidents.
She appealed to students to walk in groups and to always be vigilant of their surroundings.
When asked about the increase in crime, De Ruyter said that it had become a thorn for the institution.
“When students are off campus, it becomes a problem for the university. Where it is possible, we do provide security but it’s not possible at the moment with the current financial frame of the university,” said De Ruyter.
In a bid to ensure students’ safety, De Ruyter said the university has started with registering private student accommodations.
The township of Soshanguve has been in the spotlight in recent months due to the criminal activities occurring there.
President Jacob Zuma made a surprise visit to the area in February in an effort to combat crime.