UWC to review rape policy

The police have released an identikit of the suspect.

The University of the Western Cape says it is reviewing its rape policy and will train first-responders, after another student reported being raped on its Bellville campus earlier this month.

Western Cape police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel André Traut said the incident took place on Saturday March 3 at about 11.15pm, when the suspect offered to accompany the 20-year-old victim to the residential area.

According to the Cape Times, the student had been out with friends and had gone to use the bathroom.

When she returned, her friends had left. The suspect said he knew where her friends had gone and offered to walk with her.

He got her to a room, but then she had to go to the bathroom to throw up. It was there that he had overpowered her while she was sick.

The police have released an identikit of the suspect.

Lieutenant Colonel Traut said they had established that the man was not a student at the institution as he had claimed.

He said police could not rule out the possibility that the same suspect was involved in the alleged rape of a 22-year-old student on campus in May last year.

“No one has been arrested for the case of last year. We are looking into the circumstances of both cases to determine this,” he said.

UWC acting spokeswoman Professor Cherrel Africa said they were working with the police and had provided all available CCTV footage and other relevant information.

She said The Barn, which is on campus, was an open facility not run by the university. Students from UWC and Cape Peninsula University of Technology as well as the public had access to it.

Professor Africa said the university was starting a three-year training programme to address gender-based violence at the university.

“This training is innovative in its approach of addressing gender conditioning and gender injustice.

“It is being implemented by GenderWorks, a Cape Town-based non-governmental organisation.

“The overall objective of the project is to contribute to transforming gender relations between young women and men on campus and at residences at UWC,” she said.

The university also had a partnership with the Thuthuzela Care Centre at Karl Bremer Hospital and all medical procedures would be followed and counselling and full support provided.

Professor Africa said the university was also upgrading security at its residences.

If you have any information on the suspect, contact Detective Sergeant Dale Franks of Delft FCS on 082 522 1048.