Cape Town - Slain University of Fort Hare student Nosicelo Mtebeni chose to study towards a law degree because she “did not like seeing an injustice” inflicted on other children.
This is according to her aunt Nomvula Beauty Gugushe who spoke at the memorial service of her niece in East London on Wednesday.
Mtebeni, 23, was murdered and dismembered last week. Some of her body parts were found in a suitcase dumped in the street not far from where she shared a room with her boyfriend Alutha Pasile, 25, in Quigney, East London.
Pasile was arrested and appeared in court this week on a murder charge.
He allegedly confessed to police that he killed Mtebeni after discovering she was cheating.
Mtebeni’s murder has left her family and the broader community in shock.
Gugushe said the support they received had helped them to cope with the ordeal.
“We are feeling a bit stronger. Initially, we did not know how we were going to deal with something of this nature, but because of the support we have received in East London, from the police, the university and the broader community, this painful trauma is lighter than it was at the time of hearing about this,” Gugushe told Independent Media.
She said Mtebeni did not like seeing injustice done to other people.
“She was a child who did not like seeing others being violated. She also did not like seeing a woman being violated. I am, therefore, so certain that if Nosicelo had more time to live on this earth, she was going to be one of the women who would be fighting for children and women’s rights,” said Gugushe.
Advocate Andile Mini, the president of the university’s convocation, said that in Mtebeni they lost a student who was soon going to be a member of the Fort Hare alumni.
“The message of the convocation is clear, that the spirit of Nosicelo shall never die, while we live. As the country is battling to control an unprecedented stigma of Coronavirus, we are also faced with another pandemic that has anointed itself as the shame of the nation; gender-based violence,” he said.
Mini said the convocation had taken a decision which they have communicated to the family of Mtebeni, “that for the duration of our term, in the next four years, we want to adopt Nosicelo’s family, and provide the support that is needed. From the meeting (we held) among ourselves as the executive of the convocation, we have made a contribution (to the family) to the tune of R150 000, from ourselves.
“We will fund raise enough money for the family for the duration of our term. We are also planning to approach the university with regard to the legacy project that will be named after Nosicelo,” said Mini.
The university’s vice-chancellor, Sakhela Buhlungu, said in Mtebeni they had been “robbed of a future Constitutional Court judge”.
“This child arrived here (at Fort Hare in 2017) and was going to finish her degree in regulation time,” Buhlungu said.
Higher Education and Training Deputy Minister Buti Manamela said: “The story of Nosicelo is part of the broader story of women in our country, who, today, have to live with the reality that they can be attacked, raped and murdered anywhere and at any time of the day.”
Mtebeni is survived by her parents from Matatiele, Kholisile and Ntombizandile Mtebeni, and her siblings. The details of the funeral have not yet been announced