Rhodes vice chancellor ‘disgusted’ by police’s use of rubber bullets

Sizwe Mabizela says the arrest of five students has raised tensions at the university.

Rhodes University Students writing messages in support of the anti-rape campaign on 20 April 2016. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

GRAHAMSTOWN - Rhodes University Vice-Chancellor Sizwe Mabizela says he's disgusted by the arrest of five students during a protest against rape at the institution's Grahamstown campus, but believes women who've been raped must report their ordeal if they expect the university to act against the perpetrators.

The university says it will be reviewing its policy on how sexual violence is reported, saying it wants to make it more confidential and supportive.

Mabizela was today jeered by a large group of students who have been protesting against what they say is a culture of rape at the Grahamstown institution.

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Mabizela says while the university is prepared to amend its policies to allow victims of rape more accessible access to justice, it all depends on whether the crime was reported.

The vice chancellor says he was disgusted by the police's decision to open fire with rubber bullets on students who were peacefully protesting outside the institution yesterday.

He says the arrests have also raised tensions at the university.

"Unfortunately this is a public road, that is their argument, but they have to use minimum force. The students were very peaceful."

Mabizela says the institution has now set up a task team to look at how to address students' demands that alleged rapists be removed from campus.

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