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Cape Town - In the fallout of a Wits University sexual harassment scandal, some Western Cape institutions are reviewing guidelines for staff/student relationships while others do not see the need for regulating these affairs at all.
A report said the university’s “vague” policies made it difficult for people to come forward with information.
Stellenbosch University and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) have no policy governing staff/student affairs.
CPUT’s judicial officer Mandlakazi Sifumba said only one incident of a relationship between a student and a staff member had resulted in a sexual harassment accusation. For this reason CPUT did not see the need for one.
Stellenbosch is updating its policy. “Power relations make it very difficult to know when relationships between staff and students are truly consensual,” said senior director of communications Mohamed Shaikh.
The University of the Western Cape is overhauling its sexual harassment policies. Communications officer Luthando Tyhalibongo said UWC had dealt with one formal accusation of sexual harassment against a staff member this year.
Last year CPUT had three cases against staff members, and two were laid by staff members.
UCT would not say how many reports of sexual harassment it had received. UCT has a policy that governs romantic, sexual, familial and conflict-ridden relationships between staff and students.
Students at the university launched the “kNOw it’s NOT OKAY” campaign to stamp out sexual harassment.
Cadet News Agency