Thibedi enrolls with Unisa

EDUCATION: Kabelo Thibedi. Pic. Pumza Fihlani. 18/12/2006. © Sowetan.
EDUCATION: Kabelo Thibedi. Pic. Pumza Fihlani. 18/12/2006. © Sowetan.

Pumza Fihlani and Thato Mokobane

Pumza Fihlani and Thato Mokobane

Kabelo Thibedi is not wasting any time in getting his life in order.

After three years of being denied a tertiary education because he didn't have an ID book, Thibedi can at last start to secure his future.

He received his ID book only a fortnight ago but has already registered with the University of South Africa.

Last week the university accepted him as a student for a communication science degree. He will study part-time.

"It will take me four years to complete the degree," he said.

Asked why he chose the course, he replied: "I did some research on it and found it very interesting."

Speaking at his home in Meadowlands, Soweto, Thibedi said his mother would apply for a study loan that would cover his tuition fees of about R8000 a year.

The 22-year-old is taking driving lessons: "By the end of early next year I want to have my driver's licence," he said.

Though Thibedi is busy sorting his future out, a five-year jail term is hanging over his head.

Early last month he was found guilty of kidnapping after holding Home Affairs official Lanelle Small hostage with a toy gun in November last year.

He said his actions had been prompted by his frustration after battling for two years to get an ID book.

Thibedi, who is out on R3000 bail and has been granted leave to appeal, said he was waiting for a court date on which he could appear to appeal the five-year sentence.

"I pray that the sentence is reduced. I hope to be sentenced to community service," he said.

Thibedi said that the project he launched recently with the Young Communist League to help people who had problems in obtaining identification documents was "going well".