SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: September 04, 2015

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Vaal University of Technology

Region & Country:Southern Africa | South Africa

New or Ongoing:New Incident

Late in the evening of Friday, September 4, 2015, two female students at Vaal University of Technology were murdered in the apartment they shared.  Their bodies were found the next morning. 
The apartment where the incident took place was located two blocks from campus, in an area populated by large numbers of students.  During a public meeting that followed, students reportedly expressed grave fears about campus safety, indicating that this was only the latest in a series of violent crimes on or near the campus.  On Monday, September 14, the campus was shut down as students held a protest demanding that the university increase its efforts to ensure student safety.  Suspects were arrested in connection with the murders shortly thereafter.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the murder of members of higher education communities.  State and university officials have a responsibility to ensure the security of higher education communities, to prevent future attacks, and to hold perpetrators of violent attacks accountable.