A 28-year-old Butterworth man, who was allegedly part of a gang that terrorised Walter Sisulu University students living in a privately-owned residence, was beaten to death by unknown people.

The man was found inside the student digs, but reportedly died after being admitted to hospital.

Butterworth police spokesman Captain Jackson Manatha said the incident happened in the early hours of Sunday at a Zazulwana-based residence.

University spokeswoman Yonela Tukwayo said they were aware of the incident.

“No details are available about the incident and the university is relying on the police for more information,” she said.

The caretaker of the residence, who asked not to be named, said she heard a commotion at about 2.30am on Sunday, which woke her up.

“I stayed inside for a while as I was scared to go outside. Eventually I went out. I saw a body of a man with injuries.

“I then called the police.”

She said when the police arrived at the residence, the man was still alive.

“I then later received a call from police telling me that the man had passed away in hospital,” she said.

It is alleged that the man had attempted to break-in.

The caretaker said it was not the first time there had been a robbery at that residence.

She said, after midnight on Tuesday, two guys entered the residence and stole meat and a cellphone.

A female student living at the off-campus residence said they lived in fear.

“A week does not pass without hearing of a burglary in these residences,” she said.

Student leadership said they were concerned about the safety of students.

SRC’s Lonwabo Nkosana said they were worried about the university “forcefully approving places that do not meet standards to be student residences”.

“Some of these places are not even burglar proofed. Even the security guards are not trained in security,” he said.

The incident happened less than three weeks after students at the Mthatha campus’ Zamukulungisa Site student residents allegedly took the law into their own hands and killed a fellow student accused of stealing laptops.