File photo: INLSA
Cape Town - Police say they are following up on positive leads in their hunt for a suspect who raped a University of the Western Cape (UWC) student earlier this month.

This comes after they issued his identikit, asking the public to come forward with any information that may help them arrest the suspect.

The suspect, who was not a student, had offered to accompany the student to find her friends on the night of March 3.

The student went to use a toilet. When she came back, her friends who had been with her had left the venue where they had been out for the night.

The suspect had raped her while she used the bathroom.

Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana said: “The case is still under investigation. All possible leads are being followed. There are no new developments to report so far.”

The university said it was reviewing its rape policy.

In November 2016, Patrick Hlomane was given nine life sentences after he raped five UCT students between November 2015 and February 2016, near Rhodes Memorial.

UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola said: “The university is committed to maintaining an environment across campus where students and staff members feel safe. This is one of the reasons why UCT has established the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), which is a multidisciplinary team of professionals who work together to address the culture of rape, sexual assault and gender discrimination so prevalent in South African society.”

Moholola said eight rape and sexual assault and attempted rape cases were reported through the formal route in 2017.

Two of these eight were reported to the SAPS while the other six were handled by the University Student Disciplinary Tribunal.

In May last year, Stellenbosch University student Hannah Cornelius was killed after she and her friend were hijacked in Bird Street, Stellenbosch.

Stellenbosch University spokesperson Martin Viljoen said that while there had been a few incidents reported and dealt with recently according to the SU protocol, there were incidents that remained unreported for fear of social judgement and labelling, which “is so prevalent in our society” .

He said the university’s End Rape Culture Task Team concluded its work in June 2017.

Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) spokesperson Lauren Kansley said gender-based violence was receiving particular attention at the institution.

She said students who report a sexual assault were examined and physically assessed during consultation by the campus clinic.

Other interventions included in-house counselling, referral to specialists (Rape Crisis) and internal Student Counselling Unit for specialised counselling.