Cape Town- An 18-year-old Stellenbosch University student charged with two counts of rape, was granted R1 000 bail at the Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
The university confirmed the student was arrested on Wednesday morning after a 19-year-old female student opened a case with the police.
The incident is alleged to have occurred on Tuesday evening at Majuba residence at the Stellenbosch campus.
Sources close to the accused from Paarl said his family is “completely broken” by the allegations.
Police spokesperson Captain Frederick Van Wyk said circumstances surrounding the incident are being investigated by the Stellenbosch Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit.
“The circumstances surrounding a rape that was reported to the police by a 19-year-old female victim on Wednesday are being investigated by the Stellenbosch FCS unit.
“It is alleged that the incident occurred at about 10.30pm on Tuesday at a residence in Victoria Street Stellenbosch,” he said.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said the accused cannot be in contact with the complainant as a condition of bail.
“A University of Stellenbosch student appeared at the Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Court (Thursday) morning.
“He is charged with two counts of rape. The court set his bail at R1 000 with conditions that he must not be in contact with the complainant.
‘His case was postponed until June 29 for further investigation,” Ntabazalila said.
The university said it was “deeply distressed” by the incident.
“In accordance with its established procedures and protocols, the university will suspend the alleged perpetrator from his residence, pending further internal and criminal investigation by law enforcement authorities.
“It must be noted that this is now a criminal matter and the law will now run its course.
“The victim is currently cared for and safe.
“She opened a case of rape against the perpetrator with the SAPS, who accompanied her to the Stellenbosch Provincial Hospital, where she was examined and also received the necessary medication, care and primary counselling.
“The victim has not reported the incident to the SU Equality Unit yet, but she had been provided with information on the various ways that an incident can be reported internally.
“She will be assisted in this regard.
“The university respects the wishes of the victim and her decisions,“ said the university.
Student activist Thandile Ngxikwe said the university leadership needed to have a strong stance when it comes to incidents of GBV.
“The university really needs to show a certain leadership and make a very clear example of the stance that they continue to make in their policies and countless emails condemning such behaviour.
“The residence of Majuba also needs to ensure that they sit down and look at their GBV policy and see how they as an structure can educate their residents on GBV related matters,“ she said.
Student activist, Shaniaé Maharaj said women and queer people on campus still “feel threatened and at risk, largely because the environment does not integrate the policies instituted by the university.
“On a grassroots level, men’s residences still play an important role in perpetuating toxic masculinity and GBV,” Maharaj said.
Deputy vice-chancellor of strategy, global and corporate affairs, Professor Hester Klopper said the university has a strict zero-tolerance approach to gender-based violence.
“Like my rectorate colleagues, I too am personally deeply committed to this cause and in line with our 'unfair discrimination and harassment policy' we will continue to work harder towards creating an environment free of gender-based violence and that advances equal rights for all.
“Human dignity must be and will continue to be a non-negotiable at Stellenbosch University that will be respected, upheld and restored when affected, regardless of the transgression and without fear of or favour to an alleged perpetrator,“ said Klopper.