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Petrol attendant recalls how she helped UCT rape survivor

Phumeza Sigwela says the woman approached her for help at a Shell filling station last week.

People who commit suicide mostly suffer from severe depression. Picture: sxc.hu.
UCT,UCT rape,Newlands Forest
Local

CAPE TOWN - A Rondebosch petrol attendant has described how she helped a University of Cape Town (UCT) student escape her alleged rapist.

Phumeza Sigwela says the 28-year-old woman approached her for help at the Shell filling station on the M3 highway on Wednesday night.

Police say the victim was abducted while jogging near Newlands on Tuesday.

Sigwela says she locked the rape survivor in staff toilets to protect her from her alleged attacker.

The petrol attendant says the man is familiar to her because he buys snacks at the convenience store every night.

“She made a withdrawal at the ATM and withdrew all her money. He took her to wait in the dark … then he came into the shop to buy cold drink. I then asked her if I should call the police and they came immediately.”

She says the desperate woman told her she was raped repeatedly over a period of more than 24 hours.

Police arrested the suspect on the mountain in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Meanwhile, a man accused of raping another UCT student is expected to appear before an identity parade to determine whether he could be linked to similar attacks near Rhodes Memorial.

The accused faces rape, kidnapping and an attempted murder charges for the attack on a 23-year-old student near Rhodes Memorial in November.

The arrest follows a spate of rapes near the UCT campus involving at least three other female students.

The matter is due back in court on Friday.

UCT BEEFS UP SECURITY TO PREVENT FUTURE ATTACKS

UCT management said they’d hired additional private security to patrol off-campus areas around Rhodes Memorial and Newlands Forest.

The institution has also been working with South African National Parks (SANParks), neighbourhood watch organisations and police to bolster security.

UCT spokesperson Kylie Hatton says those areas are used frequently and management wants to prevent another attack.

At least five women have been attacked since November.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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