Robbers beaten to death by students

Campus residents say security is lax and residences are often targeted by criminals

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Photo of students
Walter Sisulu University students from the institution’s largest campus, Nelson Mandela Drive in Mthatha, where two alleged thieves were beaten to death. Photo supplied

Students at Walter Sisulu University (WSU) Nelson Mandela Drive Campus killed two thieves and left one badly injured on Friday. This happened after the three men allegedly broke into Phulo, a female residence, and went from room to room to steal cellphones and laptops.

Police spokesperson Dineo Koena said one of the robbers was killed on the spot while one died in hospital on Saturday. One is critically injured.

She said students said it was a robbery but no one has opened a case.

“We sent a few police officers to the scene and we found that it was a mob. We then had to send public order [police],” she said.

According to a student, who wished to be anonymous, the female students screamed for help and students came in “hundreds” to their defence. They apprehended the robbers and started beating them.

WSU spokesperson Yonela Tukwayo said when security guards could not control the students, they called an ambulance and the police. But when the ambulance arrived, students started throwing stones at it. The police had to call for backup because the crowd was too big.

“As the university, we strongly condemn the act of vigilantism that has led to death,” she said.

Students Christian Organisation Chairperson Zibele Norness Nodangala said it was quite common to hear about theft on campus.

President of the Student Representative Council Chiliza Luyanda said this is not the first time a robbery has occurred on campus. He said that two weeks ago robbers stole cellphones and laptops from the female residences.

He said the criminals are not registered students but somehow they manage to enter through the gate in front of the security guards.

“We have been complaining about the security company but it has not been changed. Students are frustrated that some of the people who rob our campus have access to students’ room keys,” he said.

TOPICS:  Crime Tertiary Education

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