Rape protest halts lectures at Nelson Mandela University
An alleged rape of a student by a fellow student at the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth at the weekend resulted in a campus shutdown on Monday‚ as students demanded increased security.
"Classes and shuttle services temporarily postponed until 10am on all PE campuses due to protest action at North & South campus entrances early today‚" the university said in a statement on social media.
It said it was looking into the incident. "A criminal charge was opened against the alleged perpetrator‚ who is also a student‚ with SAPS." The university is gathering all the necessary information to pursue concurrent internal disciplinary action‚" it said.
NMU students want increased security on campus and are demanding to know what action has been taken in relation to previous cases.
As women students of NMU we have a list of demands that includes the university to clarify what to previous rape cases under investigation. Some are reported to have been pending for close to 8 months.— She wants to blog now (@Astra_Castra) August 5, 2018
The university said it was "indeed troubled by reported incidents of rape and/or sexual assault among students‚ who share communal spaces on campus".
"Initiatives aimed at creating increased awareness about gender-based violence continue to run on the various campuses and the objective is that these ultimately result in the total eradication of such incidents within university spaces."
"We assure the university community that this‚ as well as other pending matters‚ is receiving the attention it deserves and urge you to allow due process to take its course‚" it said.