News from around the country.

UWC rocked by 3 student deaths this week

A shooting and two suicides have claimed the lives of three University of the Western Cape (UWC) students over the last week. The shooting occurred in Delft on the weekend and two law students, who were dating, committed suicide on Thursday (November 22) and on Tuesday (November 27). UWC spokesperson Cherrel Africa confirmed the recent deaths. “The university has been in touch with the respective families. The parents have expressly indicated to us that as an institution, they do not want us divulging or discussing any details of their deaths. We therefore request that that the privacy of these families be respected during this difficult time,” she said. While the university has systems in place to support students, students have taken to social media to express their anger about the deaths, demanding better support systems. If you are experiencing anxiety or depression or feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope, the SA Depression and Anxiety Group has a 24-hour toll-free helpline 0800 222 333. –  Read more on this story on the IOL and News 24 news sites

Medical students will cycle to raise funds for fellow students

Breda Reed, a third year Stellenbosch University medical student, and four fellow students are pioneering an ambitious 902km cycle tour to help fellow students. “We want to help our friends become doctors. We don’t think it’s fair that some students drop out because they don’t have access to basic necessities.” stated Reed.

The group wants to raise R100,000 to help set up a fund to ensure that fellow medical students are not financially excluded. Starting this Saturday, December 1, the cyclists will set off from Vioolsdrift at the Namibian border and plan to reach Cape Agulhas, the Southernmost tip of Africa, by December 8. The group consists of Breda Reed (Windhoek), Mias Marais (Ceres), Luke Titus (Worcester), and Christoff Greyling (Durbanville) – all students in medicine and Wonderboy Nkosi (Nelspruit) a student in dietetics. – Read more on this story and see the full itinerary on the Stellenbosch University news site.

Steyn has fallen: Statue to be moved off campus

A discussion that started in back in 2003 has finally been settled when the Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) approved the relocation of the statue of President MT Steyn to a site off campus this month. The decision was recommended by the Special Task Team which was appointed by vice-chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen earlier this year. According to Prof Petersen, the relocation of the statue to a site off campus will best
serve the university’s vision for the future, ensuring that the UFS is a place where everyone feels welcome and where diversity is encouraged and celebrated. – Read the full UFS statement