Police investigate after Maties student is raped

The incident took place last month outside the all-girls’ residence, Harmonie.

FILE: The university’s Crisis Service has also offered her support. Picture: iWitness.

CAPE TOWN - University of Stellenbosch's management has confirmed police are investigating the rape of a student outside one of the campus residences.

The incident took place last month outside the all-girls' residence, Harmonie, in the early hours of the morning.

In a statement released by the university this evening, it says the female student has been examined and treated by the district surgeon.

The university's Crisis Service has also offered her support.

University spokesperson Martin Viljoen says vice-chancellor Wim de Villers is outraged by the incident.

"The management of Stellenbosch University has recently learnt with shock of a reported rape of a female student outside the university's Harmonie residence where the incident took place in the early hours of the morning. The incident is being investigate by the Sexual Offences Unit of the police but no arrests have bene made so far."

De Villiers expressed his utter dismay over the incident.

"Sexual abuse of any nature are despicable acts and we urge the police to make sure that the incident is thoroughly investigated so that justice is served. I urge our campus community to respect the privacy of those involved. Such incidents are very traumatic, and any form of speculation on social media just worsens the situation."

In the statement, the university also says, "The Rector's Management Team (RMT) has therefore noted with concern recent claims about a 'rape culture' at the institution, and has decided to appoint a Task Team on Alleged Sexual Offences to urgently look into the matter and make the necessary recommendations."

UCT'S ALLEGED SERIAL RAPIST

Last month, police were searching for a suspected serial rapist believed to be responsible for four attacks on women near University of Cape Town (UCT)'s campus.

Three students had reportedly been raped in the vicinity of Rhodes Memorial since December.

Another woman was wounded after fighting off an assailant who tried to rape her in January.

In the latest incident, which took place in February, UCT said a student was dragged to bushes near Rhodes Memorial and raped repeatedly for about five hours.

Police were looking for a slender-built man in his 20s.

UCT spokesperson Kylie Hatton said the suspect had been described as a well-spoken man who engaged his victims in conversation.

She said the man was usually in a hoodie and black pants and appeared to know the mountain well.

The university provided medical assistance and counselling to the student attack and also warned staff and students to avoid the area around Rhodes Memorial.