Johannesburg – University of Venda students who were studying for their exams were raped while others were robbed of their cellphones and laptops.
The university said it learned with shock and sadness there had been two break-ins at two of the non-accredited off-campus residences in the early hours of Tuesday and that students were attacked.
Spokesperson for the university Dr Takalani Dzaga said both incidents happened between 2am and 3am in Thohoyandou.
“The first one occurred at residences in Sibasa Unit C, where students were robbed of their cellphones and laptops.
“One suspect was shot by the police and admitted at Tshilidzini hospital.
“The second incident happened at P-West in Thohoyandou, where two female students were raped while they were busy studying, preparing for their exams in their rooms.”
Dzaga explained the residences where the attacks happened are back rooms in a residential house and many of their students used them for accommodation.
However, he said, that accommodation was not accredited with the university. As a result, he said, they could not conclude whether it met the minimum requirements or not.
“UniVEN condemns these incidents in the strongest possible terms, more especially when it’s happening during the women’s month.
“Arrangements are under way to provide counselling to the victims. The university is working hard to improve security at both on- and off-campus university accredited residences.
“We appeal to all students who are staying at off-campus non-accredited residences to consider taking up rooms that are still available at both on- and off-campus university accredited residences.
“As the university, we will continue working together with the South African Police Service, local traditional structures and civic organisations in raising awareness and to fight this gender-based violence scourge and crime which is entrenched in the fabric of our societies.
“Once again, I wish all our students good luck in their preparation and writing of their first semester examinations that are under way,” Dzaga said.