What do the names Thabang Mokhoang, Keamohetswe Seboko, Mellony Sias, Mosimanegape Madiba and Enoch Mpianzi have in common? If you do not know, you are like most of my social media followers who had no idea when I posed this question on Facebook and Twitter. That is because we absorb the news one tragedy at a time and then we move on until the next sadness hits us. I decided to connect the dots and this is what I found.

All five were black students who drowned while participating in an event linked to the former white educational institutions where they were enrolled. Thabang was a first-year mechanical engineering student who in 2012 drowned in the swimming pool of the Potchefstroom campus of North West University during initiation by his male residence. Mosimanegape, a first-year science student, drowned in the Misverstand Dam in 2016 during a training session with the rowing team of the University of Cape Town. Keamohetswe, a grade 7 pupil, drowned in the hostel swimming po...

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