Parliament: Violence against female students is shocking, must be addressed

The statement comes after TVET student Precious Ramabulana was found stabbed to death in her room off-campus on Sunday.

FILE: Capetonians took to the street to protest against gender-based violence on 4 September 2019. They moved from Parliament to the Cape Town International Convention Centre where the World Economic Forum on Africa event was under way. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Parliament's Higher Education Committee has sent its condolences to the family of murdered TVET student Precious Ramabulana in Limpopo.

Ramabulana was found stabbed to death in her room off-campus on Sunday.

It's also suspected she was raped, but this has not yet been confirmed.

In a statement on Tuesday. committee chairperson Philly Mapulane expressed his concern at the high rate of students killed in 2019.

Mapulane said he was shocked by the killing of Ramabulana during a period when the country is observing 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children.

Precious Ramabulana. Picture:

Murdered student Precious Ramabulana. Picture:

He said the amount of violence directed at female university students was shocking and should be dealt with decisively.

Parliamentarians are calling on law enforcement agencies to act swiftly to track down those responsible.

Mapulane said these ongoing attacks highlight the need to invest in campus accommodation for students, as well as security at accommodation facilities that are off-campus.

Ramabulana comes after countrywide protests against gender-based violence.

Earlier this month, Luyanda Botha was handed three life sentences and five years with no prospect of parole for the rape and murder of UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana.

The crime took place at a Cape Town Post Office branch in August.

Uyinene Mrwetyana. Picture:

Uyinene Mrwetyana. Picture:

In a separate case, Jesse Hess, a 19-year-old UWC theology student, and her grandfather, Chris Lategan, were found dead in their Parow flat, in Cape Town, in August.

The two men implicated in the murder of the UWC student her grandfather will spend Christmas behind bars.

Chris Lategan and his granddaughter Jesse Hess were murdered in their flat in Parow, Cape Town. Picture:

Chris Lategan and his granddaughter Jesse Hess. Picture:

David Van Boven - a relative of the slain 19-year-old - and Tasliem Ambrose were in the Bellville Magistrates Court last week. They each face two charges of murder and two of aggravated robbery.

Van Boven, who was released on parole in December, has a previous rape and drug-related conviction.
He's also accused of another sexual assault in a separate matter.

In September, a CPUT nursing student was abducted outside Tygerberg Hospital and sexually assaulted.

The nursing student received medical treatment and counselling at Karl Bremer Hospital's Thuthuzela Care centre.

The department said that after her attack she was released.

Officials said that they had visited the victim and would assist her on the path to healing.

Two months ago, government promised to make R1.6 billion of funding available towards programs to tackle crimes against women and girls.

Additional reporting by Lauren Isaacs, Lizell Persens & Kevin Brandt.