Ricochet News

Mayor demands action after student raped and woman stabbed at NMU

Oct 3, 2017
Mayor demands action after student raped and woman stabbed at NMU

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality on Tuesday condemned the rape of a young woman, and the stabbing of another woman, at the Nelson Mandela University's 2 Avenue campus on Monday night. The university's campus and its South campus were under lockdown at the time of publishing due to a student protest over security at the institution.

The NMU on Tuesday confimed that one suspect raped a 25-year-old student and stabbed the woman inside a computer laboratory on its Second Avenue campus. He then forced them to help him carry computer equipment out of the building and ordered the women to pass the stolen goods to him over a fence as he made his escape.

He also fled with his victim's wallets and cellphones.

It said that both students received the initial medical attention, with counselling and other support mechanisms in place for the rape victim.

"My prayers and thoughts are with both of these young women, as they recover from this horrific incident," said Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip.

"It is now surely time for the National Police Ministry to start taking crime in our City seriously.

"Local SAPS units have been fighting a valiant battle, but often held back by huge staffing shortages and resource limitations."

Trollip said that he wrote to Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, on 14 August 2017 requesting his urgent intervention.

"Some six weeks have passed since receipt was acknowledged, yet no response in any form has been forthcoming.

"The Municipality is doing everything we can, having launched a metro police service of just over 100 officers, opened two Satellite Stations, launched a Ghost Squad and working to have shot spotter installed in gun violence hotspots," the Mayor said.

"But only SAPS can open case dockets for investigation and press criminal charges against suspects."

He added that Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Safety & Security MMC, Cllr John Best, will this week meet with local SAPS leadership, student leaders and the university to map the way forward.

"The Police Minister is referred again to my 14 August Correspondence and urged to take ownership of his constitutional duty to protect our residents.

"While this incident justifiably evokes anger, I would ask that all those who wish to respond and express themselves please do so in a constructive, safe manner," the Mayor said.

"No matter what it takes - Nelson Mandela Bay will be a safe city.

"We will not stop until this is so."

The NMU management is expected to meet on Tuesday morning to discuss the incident while the SAPS have launched a manhunt for the suspect, who was captured on CCTV.