Forensic tests confirm missing Free State student died in a car crash

22 October 2019 - 17:05 By Nonkululeko Njilo
Police have confirmed that university student Amkelani Nhlanhla Thwala died in a car crash.
Police have confirmed that university student Amkelani Nhlanhla Thwala died in a car crash.
Image: Supplied

Police have confirmed that a University of the Free State (UFS) student who went missing more than six weeks ago died on the day he vanished in a gruesome car crash.

Amkelani Nhlanhla Thwala was reported missing on September 6 and a massive search was undertaken to find him.

Now it has emerged that he died in a car accident that left his body "unrecognisable", the university said on Tuesday. 

"It has come to light that Amkelani was involved in a car accident near the Bergville tollgate on the day he went missing. The nature of the accident was such that Amkelani's body was unrecognisable until he was positively identified by the SAPS forensic services and his family on Monday, after which the Qwaqwa campus management was informed," said the university.

Thwala's disappearance led to an outcry at the institution and a private investigator was  roped in to help with the search.

"This comes after the management of the Qwaqwa campus, the police and a private investigator relentlessly searched for Amkelani after he was reported missing on Friday, September 6 2019.

"Amkelani was last seen in the Setsing area and was apparently on his way to Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal," said the institution.

His death was officially confirmed by police on Monday. 

Thwala had been enrolled at the university's South campus and was based at Kwetlisong Centre in Phuthaditjhaba.

The university sent condolences to his family. 

"The university's executive management expresses its sincere condolences to his family and friends for their sad loss and wishes them strength during this difficult time – especially because of the time it took to establish his whereabouts."