Pretoria - The trial of a Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) student accused of stabbing another student at the Soshanguve North campus has been postponed to September 17 for further investigation.
This was during the accused’s first appearance at Soshanguve Magistrate’s Court, where a group of students affiliated to the DA Student Organisation called for the State to deny him bail.
Students picketed outside court, holding up placards with messages calling for justice to be done by denying the accused bail during his first appearance.
The court heard that the accused’s physical address had changed after he moved out of the university students residence.
The police were, therefore, tasked with verifying his new address before his next court appearance.
The stabbing incident happened on September 6 when students were embroiled in an altercation after the student representative council (SRC) elections.
The accused was arrested on Sunday evening.
The victim, Sabelo Mbele, 23, was allegedly stabbed eight times and has since been admitted at George Mukhari Hospital, where he is recuperating.
The students were yesterday led by DA MPL Crezane Bosch, who said: “We are here in support of Sabelo Mbele who was stabbed last week after the SRC elections by the perpetrator who today made his first appearance for a bail application.”
She said students were opposed to the bail application and demanded that justice be served.
“We believe that it is not safe for the perpetrator to be released on bail. He should remain in jail for the safety of all students on campus because clearly the university’s security is not sufficient to protect students. The university should be a safe environment for students to learn.”
University spokesperson Willa du Ruyter said TUT was working closely with the SAPS to make sure alleged perpetrators faced the full might of the law.
She said the university started its probe into the stabbing incident, which left three students injured.
“The university strongly condemns such incidents, since the safety of our students is of utmost importance. We have asked our security team to reinforce security measures at our campuses,” she said.
She reiterated that Campus Protection Services responded quickly to the incident and assisted in the transfer of the injured to hospital.
According to Du Ruyter, one student was treated and discharged, while the other two were admitted for treatment.
“Since Friday, staff from the vice-chancellor’s office, Soshanguve campus rector’s office and student governance and leadership development, have been providing support and visiting Sabelo Mbele.”
She said an executive from the vice-chancellor’s office said Mbele’s condition had improved considerably and was hopeful he would be discharged from hospital some time during the week.