UCT Vice-Chancellor condemns alleged rape on campus

18 November 2015 - 17:35
By Jenna Etheridge, News24
University of Cape Town. File photo
Image: UCT Student @UCTStudent via Twitter University of Cape Town. File photo

University of Cape Town Vice-Chancellor Max Price has condemned the alleged "awful" rape of a student at Avenue House.

Students who live on the university property, also known as Azania, have driven many campaigns for greater inclusivity and transformation.

In a regular letter, “From the VC’s desk”, Price said the alleged sexual assault was “deeply concerning”, especially as one of the students’ calls was #PatriarchyMustFall.

“It reminds us that even in a space where there is heightened sensitivity and understanding about these matters, the scourge of violence and abuse happens.”

The university committed to supporting the female student and to double its efforts to educate the community.

It is working “actively” with the South African Police Service.

Details posted on social media

Western Cape police confirmed that a 24-year-old man was arrested and would appear in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

University spokesperson Gerda Kruger said support services had been made available to those involved in the incident, alleged to have taken place on Sunday. A UCT senior investigator is also probing “all the aspects of the case”.

The woman apparently posted details of the incident on Facebook on Sunday, while a photograph of the alleged perpetrator was circulated on social media, along with his name.

Price appealed to allow the law to take its course.

He said it was “disturbing” that a group of students had entered a residence on Monday night and forced their way into a room in search of the alleged suspect, to “deal” with him. He was not there.

“This is unacceptable behaviour which undermines the rule of law.”

Price said sexual violence both traumatised and rekindled old trauma.

“We must expose such offensive and criminal behaviour, express our intolerance of it, educate our youth at university about its evils and ensure our environment supports the survivors and others affected by such trauma.”

Source:News 24