The Management of Stellenbosch University (SU) is deeply distressed to learn of an alleged case of rape on its Stellenbosch Campus. The Rector and management of the University condemn all forms of crime and any infringement on human rights including gender-based violence in the strongest possible terms and are taking immediate action in terms of supporting the victim, investigating, 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 University commends the swift action by the South African Police Service (SAPS). The alleged perpetrator, a student at SU was arrested by SAPS yesterday morning. In accordance with its established procedures and protocols, the University will suspend the alleged perpetrator from his residence, pending further internal and criminal investigation by law enforcement authorities. It must be noted that this is now a criminal matter and the law will now run its course.
The alleged victim is currently cared for and safe. She opened a case of rape against the perpetrator with SAPS yesterday. SAPS accompanied her to the Stellenbosch Provincial Hospital, where she was examined and also received the necessary medication, care, and primary counseling.
The victim has not reported the incident to the SU Equality Unit yet, but she had been provided with information on the various ways that an incident can be reported internally. She will be assisted in this regard. The University respects the wishes of the victim and her decisions.
“I confirm the university’s strict zero-tolerance approach to gender-based violence,” says Prof Hester Klopper, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Strategy, Global and Corporate Affairs.
“Like my Rectorate colleagues, I too am personally deeply committed to this cause and in line with our Unfair Discrimination and Harassment policy, we will continue to work harder towards creating an environment free of gender-based violence and that advances equal rights for all. Human dignity must be and will continue to be a non-negotiable at Stellenbosch University that will be respected, upheld, and restored when affected, regardless of the transgression and without fear of or favour to an alleged perpetrator,” Prof Klopper adds.