DA to raise Rhodes rapes in Parliament

20 April 2016 - 14:21 By TMG Digital

The rape protests at Rhodes University’s Grahamstown campus are set to receive Parliament’s attention. The Democratic Assembly on Wednesday said it would be submitting questions to the National Assembly “on the resourcing and capacity of the Grahamstown SAPS…to address claims of sexual assault”.The party’s Zakhele Mbhele said he would also seek answers on “how pervasive this problem on our university campuses is‚ given that sexual assault is on the rise at other tertiary institutions‚ most notably at the University of Cape Town UCT and Vaal University of Technology”.He would also “be writing to Rhodes University management to get a full briefing on what steps are being taken to ensure the safety of students”.Protesters gathered on the Rhodes campus for a fourth day on Wednesday after a list with the names of 11 alleged sex offenders was posted on social media.Mbhele appeared to take issue with “a group of students (who) marched to several residences looking for the alleged offenders” and the “DA upholds the principle of innocence until proven guilty by a court of law‚ following a police investigation that needs to be conducted thoroughly”.“This means that the university must collaborate diligently with local law enforcement and collectively they must to ensure that campus is a safe space for all‚” he said.“The SAPS can ill-afford to dither in its pursuit of the full truth in this regard and to ensure that justice is sought for all victims of sexual assault.”

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