Scared CPUT female students in plea for immediate safety boost
Cape Town – In fear of being the next victims of gender-based violence (GBV), more than 1 000 CPUT female students, supported by their male peers and lecturers from the institution's five campuses, called for an immediate safety and security boost on campus and at residences.
The students were speaking during a GBV programme organised by management at the Bellville campus yesterday, where classes were suspended to make way for the event.
While the Bellville campus was a sea of black expressing a period of mourning, some women were half-naked with phrases painted on their bodies including: “My body is not a crime scene” and “I'm still not asking to be raped”, while others held placards and sang Struggle songs.
The initiative came in the wake of femicide and GBV recently on the rise, with a first-year CPUT stduent being kidnapped, assaulted and raped just last week.
The 21-year-old student was exiting Tygerberg Hospital in Parow last Tuesday when three men allegedly pushed her into a car and drove to bushes next to Bishop Lavis Magistrate's Court, where she was raped. She is recovering at home.
The incident came a few weeks after an alleged kidnapping attempt on another student who had been exiting the District Six campus.
Although the student representative council (SRC) confirmed the District Six incident, CPUT management said it had not received a report. However, a communiqué was sent to students from the university two weeks ago, warning students to be on high alert regarding possible sex traffickers.
Taking turns reading the demands of various campuses, the students said: “The university continues to fail us by not feeling a sense of urgency when it comes to safety issues of female students.
"Cases have been reported, but not seen through, CPUT continue to victimise survivors by not suspending SRC and staff members and vetting them.
"We demand CCTV cameras on campuses and residences, campus clinic to have rape kit and access to them at any time of the day.”
CPUT vice-chancellor Chris Nhlapo said: “Vetting of staff is always done Each campus will have a basic green route, more security patrols, opening of clinics and counselling after hours and CCTV.”