Stellenbosch University (SU) learnt this morning (Saturday 2 April 2016) of
an allegation* [see below] of
rape of a female member of its student community that occurred on the
Stellenbosch Campus in the early morning hours.
A female student has laid a charge at the South African Police Service (SAPS) and a suspect has been
arrested. The man is currently in custody, and the police have confirmed that he is not an SU student.
Information at the University’s disposal at this stage is that the
incident took place in a car in the parking area between the Heemstede and
Students provided information that lead to the arrest of a male suspect
by the SAPS, assisted by University security staff.
The female student was supported
directly after the incident by other members of her student community
including her friends, the student leadership of the residence, the residence head
and the 24 hour Crisis Service in, among others, receiving the necessary
medical care and in reporting it to the SAPS. Female members of Campus Security
later joined the students and staff members to lend their support.
The Heemstede residents were informed of the incident this morning and
counselling was also offered to all.
The SAPS’ Sexual Offences Unit is investigating the incident and the
University will support the investigation in every possible way. Anyone with
more information is requested to contact Constable Matthews at cell
082 469 1479 or tel 021 809 9168/5.
Members of Management of Stellenbosch University have expressed their
concern for the student affected and their outrage
at the incident. “Rape is an appalling and
despicable crime and being part of communities where rape incidences are a
too common experience is deeply disturbing.
“As a community we are appalled and continue to be
shocked by the gender violence perpetrated within our society. Such events
leave deep wounds not only in our female students who are directly affected,
but male students too, as well as support staff, academics and Management of
our University. Words cannot express the outrage at perpetrators who continue
to terrorise our communities. As a campus, town and even a national
community we need to work together even harder and
more coordinated to create communities where women are
not exposed to disrespect and violent crimes.
“We would like to thank the residence head, fellow-students, the Crisis
Service, Campus Security and the SAPS for assisting the student and prompt
arrest of a suspect. Our thoughts are with the student, her family and friends,
as well as her fellow residents. Continued support will be provided.”
The University treats all cases of sexual violence discreetly and in confidence. We also appeal to the campus community to respect the privacy of those involved.
Women and men who are sexually harassed, abused or raped should not
hesitate to report incidents to either the University’s Crisis Service (tel 082
557 0880) or Campus Security (tel 021 808 2333; and
021 938 9507 for the Tygerberg Campus). Rape is a criminal offense
and should also be reported to the nearest police station.
Staff and students who do not want to make use of the above reporting
lines should at least report incidents to the University’s independent Ethics
Hotline – anonymously should they so
prefer. The number there is 0800 204 549. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
[* Rape is a criminal offence. At this point a complaint of rape is
subject to investigation. The University therefore uses the term “allegation”.]