Shudufhadzo Thagisa, 20, died on Wednesday at Tshilidzini Hospital, bringing the number of people Ndivhuwo Ntsieni is accused of killing to five.
Thagisa’s family said that since the attack she had been on a respirator and unable to speak. She was attacked, robbed, and sexually assaulted in May. She was discharged two months later and had been in and out of hospital since then.
Ntsieni was linked to Thagisa’s attack and other crimes after he was allegedly found in possession of her student card and hairpin. She was the last victim and the alleged serial killer’s only survivor.
Family spokesman Rofhiwa Thagisa said she had complained of pain and was rushed to hospital. “We rushed her to hospital and she died there.”
The attacks sparked protest and unrest in Golgotha, a neighbourhood near the university. Ntsieni was arrested in July last year and has been charged with murder, robbery, kidnapping, and a spate of thefts. He was a second-year food and science technology student at the University of Venda and allegedly targeted local children and women, including a cleaner working at the university.
Ntsieni was placed under psychological observation until end of February. He appeared briefly in the Thohoyandou Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday and would remain in custody while the court waited for the psychologist’s report.
During his previous court appearance, Ntsieni claimed he was not aware of his actions. He told the court that since he accepted R100 from a stranger his behaviour changed and he suspected Satanism influenced his actions. “I met a guy known as Rendani, who stays around Tshakhuma, and he gave me a R100 note and he said I should work with him and said he will show me as to how we will operate and since that, I experienced the habit of waking up at night without knowledge and control of it,” he said in his bail application affidavit.
This prompted prosecutors to apply for him to be sent for psychological observation. His other alleged victims include Livhuwani Mbodi, 22, who was found dead on the university’s campus in March last year. Nine-year-old Tshililo Ndou’s body was found in a yard at Golgotha village, within walking distance of the university’s premises, in April. Eight-year-old Zwivhuya Alice Mashau’s body was found near Ntsieni’s students’ residence.
He would appear in court again on March 24.