A Vaal University of Technology first-year students’ residence welcoming party ended tragically at the weekend when a speeding motorist killed two students and left three with serious injuries in what is believed to have been a hit-and-run incident.
One of the students who died, Shadrack Leboho, was due for graduation next week. The other, Silence Mashele, was a first-year student. Leboho had just completed his National Diploma in Marketing, while Mashele was studying towards a National Diploma in Safety Management. Both were from Limpopo. Their memorial service will be held today at the university before they are buried this weekend.
Thabo Kgomongoe, one of the surviving victims, is still in hospital and two have since been discharged. Speaking at the scene of the crime, where stains of blood and broken glass were still visible, Dr Segopane Seroka, acting deputy vice-chancellor of governance and organisational transformation, said the victims and the rest of the students had been attending a welcoming celebration party at the residence when the incident happened.
The party started on Friday at 6pm and lasted until 2am on Saturday. Seroka said at about 2am, when the students were leavingy, “a speeding car plunged into the group of students”. “They were still standing around the main residence gate when the car hit the five students. Two died on the spot and three were taken to hospital,” Seroka said.
He said that the motorist dragged Mashele only a few metres away from the gate, but dragged Leboho for almost a kilometre. Although the suspect had sped off from the scene, his car number plates fell on the road and “that’s how he was traced to his house”. He was later arrested.
“If they had not fallen off, it would have been difficult for the police to track him down,” said Seroka. Seroka said the deceased’s parents arrived at the university on Monday morning to collect their children’s belongings and cleaned the bloodstains on the street outside the gates.