Student's winter of hell

[caption id="attachment_38543" align="alignright" width="300"] LET DOWN: A blanket is 'stored' across the pathway from where a student has been forced to sleep under the walkway on the beachfront. Picture: JUDY DE VEGA[/caption]

HIS mother thinks her son is happily studying towards his diploma in accounting and going home to sleep in a warm bed every night at a Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) residence.

But the 20-year-old student has been living like a vagrant for nearly two months, sleeping under the planked walkway along Summerstrand's Marine Drive and bathing himself in the ocean after he was forced out of the residence because he could no longer afford the fees.

When the piercing cold weather and biting winter sea breeze become too unbearable, he spends the night in one of the overnight study centres, basking in the warmth of the heated air.

The student, who would not be named as his plight is "too embarrassing" and because he has hidden it from his family in East London, is one of thousands denied funding this year by the government's National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). - Zandile Mbabela

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