Rhodes student dies after 21st birthday celebrations

A third-year Rhodes University student died the morning after his 21st birthday celebrations.
Image: 123RF/Jaromír Chalabala

A third-year Bachelor of Commerce student and oppidan at Rhodes University died on Thursday morning. Rhodes University spokesperson Veliswa Mhlophe said the student, originally from Johannesburg, had celebrated his 21st birthday the day before his sudden passing.

“The cause of death has not yet been established and a forensic investigation is underway. Further details will be made available in due course,” Mhlophe said.

The University had offered counselling and support to Siphesihle Mazibuko’s friends. Students and staff who required counselling and support were encouraged to get in contact with the Counselling Centre at the Steve Biko Building, Mhlophe said.

“As the Rhodes University community, we extended our sincerest condolences to his family, loved ones, and everyone that knew him.”

Police spokesperson Sergeant Majola Nkohli said police were called to a student flat in African Street, Makhanda, around 8am on Thursday.

“It is alleged that the student had been celebrating his 21st birthday,” Nkohli said. “The next morning, they tried to wake him and couldn’t.”

Nkohli confirmed that an inquest had been opened for further investigation.

By Sue Maclennan

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