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Taxi violence claims a life: Blade Nzimande visits family of UJ student fatally shot in Braamfontein



During the media briefing, Nzimande emphasised the government’s commitment to providing a secure environment for students.

The recent death of an 18-year-old student from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has sent shockwaves through the institution and the country as a whole.

Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Blade Nzimande and Vice Chancellor of UJ briefed the media on Monday, expressing their condolences to the victim’s family.

The incident occurred amid a backdrop of taxi violence in Braamfontein, where two UJ students fell victim to stray bullets while traveling in a shuttle on Thursday.

This unfortunate incident has not only devastated the family and friends of the deceased student but has also raised concerns about campus safety and the need for immediate action to prevent such tragedies in the future.

Promising future cut short

According to Nzimande, both students, the hospitalised and the deceased were second year students.

The victim, coming from a family of six siblings in Newcastle KwaZulu-Natal was an ambitious Bcom and Accounting major. He was described as a bright young individual with a promising future.

With a domestic worker mother and being the last born child of the family, the student’s success was seen as a beacon of hope for his family.

“A young person with a bright future who was definitely going to change the life circumstances of his own family,” the minister expressed concern.

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Nzimande highlighted the need to safeguard the lives of students and ensure a safe environment in higher education institutions.

He further stated that he would be visiting the hospitalised student, “to go and hold his hand and give him strength to actually recover”.

The minister thanked UJ and assured the public he and the relevant stakeholders at UJ would work together to ensure a seamless send off for the deceased.

Addressing safety concerns

The institution’s Vice Chancellor Prof Letlhokwa Mpedi acknowledged the safety concerns students faced daily.

“We cannot have situations were students end up being hurt like this on our roads, and there’s more students mugged and all that. These are things that can be addressed by institutions of higher learning,” he said.

During the media briefing, Nzimande emphasised the government’s commitment to providing a secure environment for students.

“The violence in society is also the violence in the student communities, so we try our best to make our universities safe places,” said the minister.

ALSO READ: Confirmed: University of Johannesburg student killed in Braamfontein shooting

“As a country and as a society we really have a challenge and as government we take responsibility to intensify the fight against crime, we understand that this is a result of taxi linked violence,” he added.


The principal assured the public that the mental needs of the affected students who were present during the incident were being addressed.

He said the university was providing them with the necessary psychological support to cope with the trauma. Additionally, close friends and family of the deceased will be provided with transport to pay their last respects.

“The family takes comfort in seeing that there are people who care, and these are really important words so we will continue to support the family as best as we can,” he added.

ALSO READ: Fatal shooting rocks Braamfontein: University student among three dead

Calls for action

The death of the UJ student has reignited the conversation around campus safety and the need for swift action.

Stakeholders, including government officials, university administrators, and student bodies, are being urged to come together to implement effective safety measures.

“Although a situation like this is very difficult to prevent, in order to try and make our campuses safer we need to build safety and security committees something similar to community policing forum structures,” Nzimande advised.

This includes bolstering security personnel on campuses, improving transportation safety, and enhancing communication channels to ensure that students are promptly informed about any potential risks.

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