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Stellenbosch University and UCT rocked by sexual misconduct scandals

Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency(ANA)

Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency(ANA)

Published May 19, 2022

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Cape Town - Two Western Cape universities have been rocked by rape and sexual misconduct allegations.

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Both the University of Stellenbosch and the University of Cape Town said they were aware of the allegations and that the South African Police Service were investigating the allegations.

This comes as Stellenbosch University has been in the spotlight for a video that went viral where a white student urinated on a black student's belongings.

On Thursday, police confirmed to Weekend Argus that an 18-year-old suspect was arrested and was due to make his first appearance in court following a rape case reported on Wednesday.

Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said a rape reported to police by a 19-year- old female victim on Wednesday is being investigated by the Stellenbosch FCS unit.

“It is alleged that the incident occurred at around 22:30 on 2022-05-17 at a residence in Victoria Street Stellenbosch.”

The Universities rector and management also confirmed the incident and said in a statement that they were deeply distressed about an alleged rape on the Stellenbosch campus.

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“The Rector and management of the University condemns all forms of crime and any infringement on human rights including gender-based violence in the strongest possible terms and is taking immediate action in terms of supporting the victim, investigation and disciplinary processes.

“There is absolutely no place in our society or on our campuses for acts of violence. Our hearts go out to the victim of the alleged rape,” the statement said.

The university will also in accordance with its established procedures and protocols, suspend the alleged perpetrator from his residence, pending further internal and criminal investigation.

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The victim is currently cared for and safe, the university said.

While the Stellenbosch Universities accused was due to make an appearance in court, Twitter was abuzz with Tweets regarding sexual abuse and homophobia at the University of Cape Town.

The Tweets were posted from an anonymous account.

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Rayahna Isaacs, the DA Student Organisation (DASO), and interim branch chairperson said that they were made aware of the Tweets and allegations.

Isaacs said they were shocked by the allegation of sexual abuse and homophobia of eleven students at the Republica Roscommon House.

“More distressing is that some of these alleged perpetrators are in leadership positions.

“Varsity residences are a student’s home away from home, and their safety should therefore not be threatened here.

“The right to health, security, dignity, and sexual orientations of students is still being undermined. We should not be threatened and violated for being ourselves. This is completely unacceptable.”

Spokesperson for UCT Elijah Moholola said that the University was aware of the allegation of sexual misconduct and said the police and the Western Cape government were investigating the allegations.

It is believed that the alleged perpetrator is a staff member of the provincial department of health and UCT.

Moholola explained: “(The perpetrator) is in a relationship governed by a bilateral agreement.

“The student has been offered support available at the university and is at liberty to choose not to use these services.”

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