Given the special concerns raised recently about gender violence, with the attendant fears and rumours, Vice-Chancellor Professor Njabulo Ndebele has reported to the university community directly on two incidents that occurred recently.
On Friday, April 25, at about 06 h00 a woman student parked her car in a Groote Schuur Hospital parking lot adjoining Clarinus Residence and walked in the dark towards the hospital buildings, where she planned to do some computer work. She was attacked from behind, and pushed to the ground by an unknown assailant. The incident might have turned into a sexual assault, but fortunately the attacker fled the scene. UCT has offered support to the student, and has asked Campus Protection Services to liaise with the hospital authorities regarding improved safety in the area and to issue the appropriate warnings.
The University has received a report of an incident of acquaintance rape (where those involved are well known to each other) which took place in a residence room in the early hours of Saturday, April 27. The student reporting the incident has thus far not laid a charge with the police. A student has been suspended pending further investigation.
The Vice-Chancellor commended the two students involved for coming forward to report these incidents.
"We remain committed to making our Campus as safe as possible, and will not tolerate acts of gender violence. We will continue to investigate any reports vigorously, and keep the Campus community informed," he added.
- Campus Protection Services (CPS) reports that the incidents of muggings on and around Campus have decreased since the last report on crime statistics in Monday Paper. CPS has noted, however, that sporadic incidents of vehicle crime is still a concern.
Stuart Wragg, CPS Security Manager, calls for greater vigilance.
"Over the last few days our officers have found numerous cars unlocked on Campus. People also still leave valuables in their cars. We urge people to either lock these valuables away in the boots of their cars or take these with them. Those with gear locks should also use these devices and not leave these unlocked, " he said.
Trespassing and office theft remain a problem.
"Students are also urged to be vigilant and not to leave their bags unattended. A few cases have been reported where bags or contents of bags have gone missing from unattended bags at the library, the sport centre, Kramer Law building and the cafeteria areas," Wragg added.
The members of CPS' new crime prevention unit, active since December 1, have now been kitted out in new uniforms to increase their visibility. They now wear beige golf shirts and beige Chino trousers.
- The Gender Forum invites all staff and students to participate in an Anti-Gender Violence march on May 7 from 1-2pm. The march will start at the Bremner Building and move its way to Upper Campus. The Gender Forum is an SRC-initiated forum, which includes female and male student leaders (UCT Radio, SHARP, SHAWCO, Varsity, Womyn's Movement) as well as CPS, DISCHO and SDO. The forum is open to attendance from other stakeholders. The main purpose is to discuss and strategise around issues related to gender violence.