Cape Town - Stellenbosch University and its surrounds are to get 100 additional CCTV cameras, a mobile security kiosk and more security officers following attacks on two students.
The university’s acting chancellor Eugene Cloete said: “Our investment towards the installation of CCTV cameras is now at R10 million over three years. But that is not enough. Students need to be more vigilant and report crimes.”
Student representative council chairman MJ Dippenaar said: “The hijacking and attempted kidnapping of one of our students, Ilze-Dene Oberholzer, has brought into sharp focus the question of violent crime in and around Stellenbosch. We demand more security officers be deployed to high risk areas and more patrols across the campus.”
Last Monday, Oberholzer was burned with a cigarette lighter in an attempted kidnapping.
On Monday, student Magriet Muller, 23, was robbed of her cellphone and stabbed while jogging near the Eerste River in Stellenbosch.
On March 8, a woman was hijacked in Van Riebeeck Street near campus residences. She has not been named.
Asked about reports that a gang from Klapmuts was responsible for the attacks, Stellenbosch station commander Nomthetheleli Mene said: “We have not received such information.”
She admitted the inquiry had not yielded “much result”.
“Our investigation still continues. We cannot link the three incidents yet, but we have one team of investigators working on the incidents now.”
Community Safety MEC Dan Plato told students at a meeting on Tuesday: “I am concerned at the number of attacks on our young girls. They are becoming soft targets. Young women cannot defend themselves as much as young men can do.”
Plato said students at Stellenbosch were particularly vulnerable at night when they walked to classrooms to write exams.
“I am writing to provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Arno Lamoer to see what we can do about the situation in Stellenbosch. It has become abnormal for this town which was once one of the safest places.”
Plato said a mobile report desk would be set up on the campus and at residences.
“The police cannot be on every street corner. They need the help of extra security personnel and that is where the mobile kiosk with a security officer inside comes in handy. The kiosk would be able to… send any report through the nearest police station or patrolling officer.”
Plato encouraged students to form their own neighbourhood watches and patrol the area at night: “The provincial government would provide radios, safety equipment, reflective jackets and whatever else needed. The only way we are going to become a safer community is if we work together.”