Ricochet News

Police urged to speedily arrest suspects in University of Fort Hare gang rape

Aug 22, 2017
Police urged to speedily arrest suspects in University of Fort Hare gang rape

The Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (DASO) in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday condemned 'in the strongest terms' the alleged rape that took place at the University of Fort Hare’s Alice Campus over the weekend during the Intervarsity Festival.

According to reports, a 20-year-old woman was walking to her residence after the festival on Sunday morning when she was accosted by a knife-wielding attacker.

Two men are alleged to have pretended to save her from the attacker.

However, the two men, who were later joined by another man, took her to a building on campus where they repeatedly raped her and later forced her to take a bath to remove any incriminating evidence.

The victim was later taken to hospital and while police are investigating, no one has been arrested yet.

"It is unfortunate that this incident has taken place at a time where millions of South African’s are calling for safer communities and the protection of women and children. All of us must fiercely combat the scourge of rape and femicide in our society," said Hlomela Bucwa MP - DASO Eastern Cape Constituency Leader.

"Victims of rape and sexual assault often do not speak up because the crime is either committed by someone they know or they lack faith in the justice system. This is concerning as the isolation and silence around these crimes is often more damaging than the crime itself.

"We call on the University of Fort Hare and the South African Police Services (SAPS) to act immediately to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice."

Bucwa  said that DASO will do everything in its power to promote and guarantee the safety of women on campuses by advocating for safer campuses.

"We are committed to making sure well-trained security personnel are visible on campuses as well as installing CCTV surveillance across all campuses. We are also dedicated to enforcing stricter regulations on alcohol and drug consumptions, and also the promotion of responsible drinking," she described.

"Over the next few days, we will engage with the university’s management to ensure that the victim receives all the necessary support and counselling.

"We hold a vision for South Africa where young women walk freely without the fear of being attacked, assaulted or raped. This is a vision to creating a safe and secure living and learning environment for all our students."