On Wednesday (31 May 2017), Parliament expressed its sympathy on the death of a Matie student, Ms Hannah Cornelius, who was murdered this past weekend. Mr Cheslin Marsh, a fellow student who was hijacked along with Hannah in Bird Street, Stellenbosch, was also wished a speedy recovery.
These messages were conveyed by Ms Connie September, the new chair of Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training. Stellenbosch University (SU) on Wednesday attended a follow-up meeting with the committee after their previous meetings in March 2016 and September 2015.
Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, said the incident shocked SU, and the University was doing everything in its power to render assistance.
Safety and security was among the issues on which SU had been requested to report. Click here for SU's full presentation.
"To us, the safety of our students and staff is paramount," said Ms Nicolette van den Eijkel, Chief Director: Facilities Management.
"The fact that we have an open campus in Stellenbosch poses a challenge. It exposes us to ever-changing external safety conditions. That is why we are collaborating closely with the police, the municipality and crime prevention forums in the community."
According to Van den Eijkel, a strategic partnership with these parties constitutes one of the pillars of SU's safety strategy. Another one is to ensure a well-informed, active and vigilant campus community.
"We have a range of student safety committees, and they are functioning well."
In her presentation, Mx Lynshay Julies of the Students' Representative Council (SRC) said students were increasingly utilising social media to stay in touch with one another as well as Campus Security.
She called for a safety colloquium between various stakeholders in the battle against crime.
- The SRC has arranged a vigil in memory of students who have lost their lives. It will take place at 20:00 on Thursday 1 June in the Wimbledon square behind Irene residence. Students and staff are encouraged to attend.