On Saturday, two of our third year students, Mohammed Mussa and Rizwan Bhayat, drowned in the Settlers Dam in the Thomas Baines Nature Reserve.
The bodies were recovered on Sunday afternoon by the police divers. On behalf of Rhodes University I wish to record our sincere appreciation to the SAPS, their search-and-rescue dog unit and the diving teams for the professional manner in which they carried out the search for the two missing students.
SAPS are the unsung heroes of our nation. I would, in particular, like to thank Capt John Fobian and his team, Capt Ashley Adams and his diving teams, Lt-Col Du Plooy, Capt Green, WO Van Staden, WO Tesnor and Maj Mki from the Grahamstown police and Lt Erasmus and her team.
I would like to thank the Macleods from Robin Hill Farm for the support that they provided to the surviving student, and the rangers from Thomas Baines Nature Reserve, under their impressive manageress, Lelethu Sawuti, who assisted in the search-and-rescue and were present at Settlers Dam to offer support.
On behalf of Rhodes University, I extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the deceased.
Dr Sizwe Mabizela, acting vice-chancellor, Rhodes University