The Wits Great was filled to capacity for the memorial service of the Wits7 today.
By Hazel Kimani and Nobathembu Zantsi
The names of the seven Wits students who were tragically killed in a road traffic accident on May 1, were finally released today. The names were read out by Wits vice chancellor, Prof Adam Habib, at the start of the officially memorial service in the Wits Great Hall in front of relatives and friends of the deceased.
- Nakedi Boloka, 21, was in her second year of Mechanical Engineering
- Faranani Masiagwala, 18, just started her first year of study for a Bachelor of Education.
- Matildah Lekhema, 20, also a BEd student was in her third year
- Letlhogonolo Mosime, 21, was a third year Mechanical Engineering student
- Livhuwani Matibe, 19, was in her first year of study towards a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery qualification.
- Sipho Makhabane, 24, was a fourth year law year student
- Dakalo Mulima, 23, a Wits actuarial science alumnus, graduated with a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in March 2016
The memorial, held in the Wits Great Hall, was also attended by the Minister of Higher Education, Dr Blade Nzimande, who used the occassion to lament the high number of road accident deaths in the country. Nzimande said the death of the seven students is not only a loss for Wits but a loss for the whole nation. He urged the youth to take part in road safety campaigns.
Habib opened the ceremony by acknowledging all of the family members in attendance and passed on the condolences of the Wits community. “This is a moment of mourning, tears and heartbreak”. He said he had received condolensces from all parts of the private sector, almost all of the universities in South Africa and a number of government departments.
Speaking on behalf of the organisation to which the seven students belonged, ZCC (Zion Christian Church) student fellowship chairperson, Ben Mahudu, said that one of their members had to hospitalised due to the trauma from this tragedy.
The university has been commemorating the late students in various ways since May 1 and the university has pledged its ongoing support to friends and families of the deceased students.