Cape Town - Two law students from the University of the Western Cape have committed suicide within days of each other. Second-year students Nandile Qwemesha and Emmanuel Ndumndum are believed to have been in a relationship with each other.
Emmanuel committed suicide last Thursday and Nandile reportedly hung herself on Tuesday.
The university has confirmed that three students from the institution have died in recent days. The third student, Monde Montwana, was shot at the weekend.
"It is with great sadness that we confirm the deaths of three of our students recently – all of which occurred off-campus. It is beyond our ambit to convey any additional details regarding their deaths," university spokesperson Professor Cherrel Africa said.
Students have taken to social media to share their shock and heartbreak at the deaths, with many sharing personal anecdotes about the three.
Africa said the University is in touch with the respective families of the deceased students. "We have offered our deepest condolences to them. In all of these tragic incidents, we leave it to the relevant authorities to communicate the details of the events leading to their deaths."
She called on the university community and the public to respect the privacy of their families and the fact that there are currently police investigations pending.
"During this difficult time, and as always available on campus, counselling and support services are available for our students via the University’s Centre for Student Support Services," said Africa. T he centre provides professional and confidential counselling and psychological services for personal, social, familial and other concerns.
UWC Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (Daso) spokesperson Aniqah Abrahams said being a student is tougher than having a job at the mall or gym. "It demands our time as students which has the effect of draining us mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and even psychologically ."
Abrahams said mental health awareness is of paramount importance. "We are here to let you know that you are not alone. If ever you need someone to speak to, come and speak to us confidentially," Abrahams said.