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Wed May 25 20:52:41 SAST 2016

UCT issues warning after rapes

Aarti J Narsee | 25 January, 2016 00:05

Security will be beefed up at Rhodes Memorial following the rape of two students.

The University of Cape Town issued a warning to students at the weekend to avoid the area, especially after dark.

The rape of the students took place in December and January. Another student was held at gunpoint near the M3 highway below the Rhodes Memorial.

Merle Collins, spokesman for SA National Parks, Cape region, said the news of these incidents had come as a "huge shock".

"We haven't received any [reports of ] other incidents in the area.

"We have been saying 'touch wood' that it has been quiet, so this comes as a huge shock to us.

"It is an automatic reaction from our side to beef up security in the area," said Collins, adding that the visitor safety unit will investigate the attacks.

Spokesman for UCT Elijah Moholola said that in both rape cases the same "modus operandi" had been used. He said there was a possibility that the same perpetrator had attacked the students.

"Both incidents took place in the same area, which is the Rhodes Memorial. The description by the students of how the incidents were carried out was quite similar."

Moholola said Rhodes Memorial was a "popular spot" for students to visit.

"In light of these incidents, we urge everyone to avoid the Rhodes Memorial area, especially after dark and in particular the path used as a short cut that goes through the bushes," he said.

Yesterday Western Cape police confirmed that two cases of rape had been opened.

"There have been no arrests in either of the cases yet. Both cases have been registered at SAPS Mowbray for investigation," said Captain FC van Wyk.


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