The University of Fort Hare held a memorial service for slain student Nosicelo Mtebeni on Wednesday where family members, friends, and fellow students were in attendance.
Parts of her body were found in a suitcase on the side of the road in East London.
Her boyfriend has been arrested in connection with her death. However, the alleged murderer has abandoned the bail application.
Mtebeni’s dream of becoming a lawyer was cut short when her life ended. She was a final-year law student at the University of Fort Hare. Dr. Rianna Oelofsen from the University’s GBV policy implementation desk made this pledge.
“It is possible to make drastic changes in dealing with a pandemic of GBV as a task team we pledge that we will work harder so that we will work harder so that objectives of GBV policies has a platform for a real change.”
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sakhela Buhlungu, says Mtebeni’s death was a huge blow.
“The one take-home line for me is that we have been robbed of a future Constitutional Court judge here. This is a child who came in in 2017 the same year that I started, entered through the foundation program, and was going to finish the degree in regulation time and she was going to join the ranks of eminent Fort Harians in the legal fraternity. I do not need to say anymore, they are all over the place, they are leading society. She was going to be joining that very select section of our society.”
Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Buti Manamela also spoke at the memorial service.
“The story of Nosicelo forces ourselves to ask questions about the type of society we are, where we make women feel they can shrink themselves to a point of disappearance just so that they do not die, just so that they are not raped and just so that they are not killed. This forces us to ask ourselves even harder questions why is it we have become the rapists and murderers.”
Nosicelo was a beacon of hope for the Mtebeni family.
“We feel very strong only because of the support that we got. We did not even know where to start but because of the support we got in East London, from the university, the police, the community of East London, and the country as a whole, we feel better than before,” says Nomvula Gugushe.
A date for Mtebeni’s funeral is yet to be announced.
The University of Fort Hare commemorates slain student Nosicelo Mtebeni