Justice for Kwasa: what you need to know about the Wits student's murder

19 August 2020 - 13:10
By Unathi Nkanjeni
Asithandile 'Kwasa' Zozo Lugalo died at age 20 after she was allegedly fatally stabbed by her boyfriend.
Image: Twitter/@NicodemusD4 Asithandile 'Kwasa' Zozo Lugalo died at age 20 after she was allegedly fatally stabbed by her boyfriend.

The death of 20-year-old Asithandile “Kwasa” Zozo Lugalo has sent shock waves across the country.

The Wits University biology student was allegedly stabbed by her boyfriend.

TRIBUTE | Asithandile “Kwasa” Lugalo's friends remember her

Subscribe for free: iono.fm | Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Pocket Casts | Player.fm

Here is what you need to know.

Justice for Kwasa

The hashtag #JusticeforKwasa trending on social media has resulted in allegations that Lugalo was in an abusive relationship before her death.

Screenshots of conversations she apparently had with friends have been shared on social media.

The screenshot messages have not been verified.

Killed in front of family members

DispatchLIVE reported that her uncle, Simo Lugalo, said his niece was stabbed in front of her 10-year-old sister and 20-year-old cousin. He said her mother is distraught and wants the killer to be served with lengthy jail time.

“He came to the house and did this in front of this little girl. My sister was at work and she came back to see her child covered in blood.

“Her wounds were too deep. Doctors couldn't help her because she suffered a fatal blow which destroyed some of her arteries,” said Lugalo.


TimesLIVE reported that a 23-year-old suspect was arrested on Monday.

Provincial police spokesperson Capt Khaya Tonjeni said the suspect is being investigated for Lugalo's death.

“It is alleged the suspect was seen chasing the victim at the flat [in Butterworth] in which she was residing. It's also alleged the suspect stabbed her. She died at the scene on Monday.”

Eastern Cape provincial commissioner Lt-Gen Liziwe Ntshinga said: “The death of this young woman will not dampen the spirit of the police to fight women abuse in all its shapes and forms.”

“It is unbelievable that in our desperate attempts to end the scourge of gender-based violence in our society, our message seems to be falling in deaf ears. This is very devastating news and more examples must be made out of those we have already arrested to send a clear message to other would-be perpetrators of women abuse,” she said.


In a statement, Wits University expressed its condolences to the family and friends of Lugalo.

“This fatal incident follows the brutal murder of Uyinene [Mrwetyana] one year on. SA finds itself again outraged at the senseless and violent murder of a young woman and student.

“It is no longer enough for the government to tell us they are putting together teams to evaluate the problem and come up with solutions. The problem is clear. Women are being murdered in shocking numbers by men in SA. Women live in fear of being murdered in their homes, workplaces, schools, universities, family homes, post offices, velds, parks, vineyards, holiday destinations and streets.”

The university called on communities and families to stop protecting perpetrators.

“The problem is that when women go to police stations to report their abuse, they are told it is a domestic issue that should be dealt with by the family, that the perpetrator will calm down or that they should come back the next day as the person to report to is not available. The problem is communities and families protect perpetrators and send their victims back to them.”

Social media reacts

Lugalo's murder has sparked outrage on social media.

Here is a snapshot of what many had to say.