Details of another violent student murder have emerged just as this year’s annual 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children started yesterday (November 25). Precious Ramabulana (21) was found stabbed to death in her room off-campus on Sunday morning. She was studying N6 business management at Capricorn TVET College and had her final round of examinations coming up.

News that the student had been raped and stabbed 52 times has been circulating but details have yet to be confirmed by police. Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo confirmed that Ramabulana had been “brutally stabbed to death” at around 2.30am on Sunday, News24 reported yesterday afternoon. In a more recent report by EWN this morning, Mojapelo was unable to confirm the rape allegations and said the police were still looking for a motive. It is suspected that the assailant entered her room through a window.

While Capricorn College put out a statement on Twitter offering condolences to friends and family, students reacted with anger and outrage on a Facebook group for the college. Amid the messages of condolence and support were calls that the college should provide residences for students to ensure their safety.

Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Blade Nzimande called the murder “a barbaric and shameful act” in a statement today. He said his department would remain committed to ensure safe environments for students, especially female students. The minister also confirmed that the policy framework on gender based violence in places of learning will be published by end of March 2020. He is awaiting a report from the nine member ministerial task team appointed earlier this year to advise him on matters relating to sexual harassment and gender-based violence at universities.

The task team was announced in the wake of mounting calls for action against increasing incidents of gender-based violence on and around South African campuses. Precious Ramabulana is another name added to the list of female students killed this year, including the fatal stabbing of UKZN student Sinethemba Ndlovu in September as well as murders of UCT student Uyinene Mrewetyana and UWC student Jesse Hess within days of each other in August.