Today's Big Stories

UCT student 'avoids campus' due to series of attacks

Three students have been raped just off campus, while a fourth woman was injured in attempted rape near the University of Cape Town (UCT) in recent months.

In the latest case, the university says the student was raped repeatedly for about five hours.

While the institution warned students and staff to avoid the area around Rhodes Memorial, UCT Masters student and tutor Noelle Koeries says she has avoided campus due to the series of attacks.

Forensic psychologist Dr Giada Del Fabbro unpacked the mind and behaviour of suspected serial rapists.

Listen to the full conversation from CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies:

I think the mood is one of anger. UCT is renowned for not dealing with sexual assault and rape cases so there is anger on campus.

UCT Masters student and tutor

I've avoided going to the library because there is very few people on campus which puts me at risk - so my postgraduate research has been affected.

UCT Masters student and tutor

UCT subsequently sought right of reply and below is their response to the student's allegations.

UCT has assisted, and continues to assist, multiple victims of sexual violence over recent years. We recognise the complexities and impact of under-reporting on this sensitive issue. We are reviewing the Discrimination and Harassment Office (DISCHO) with a view to strengthening its capacity to assist students.

Elijah Moholola, UCT spokesperson

Sexual violence is endemic in South Africa – indeed, as recent news reports indicate, it is a worldwide problem – and UCT is affected by this. The university has voiced its concern about sexual violence and gender discrimination on many occasions. The biggest march in UCT’s history was focused on sexual violence in 2013.

Elijah Moholola, UCT spokesperson

We have also strengthened UCT’s interdisciplinary research on sexual violence and how we can support students. We realise that UCT can never do enough in this area but we are constantly improving the practical support we can offer to staff and students.

Elijah Moholola, UCT spokesperson
  • The headline has been rectified since the first publication to indicate that the concerns raised by one UCT student do not reflect the general sentiment on campus. CapeTalk apologises for the error.

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