Police yesterday urged a student who was allegedly raped or sexually assaulted during recent protests at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Pietermaritzburg campus to come forward and open a case.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said: “We appeal to the victim. She must come forward and open a case so the allegation can be investigated.”
The claim that a student was raped emerged during the protests that led to the closure of the university’s five campuses until September 20. According to Zwane, the allegation was brought to the attention of the commander of the Alexandra Road police station. He said as of yet, the victim had not been located and no case had been opened.
During an interview, university spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said the matter had been reported to the institution’s risk management services. But he was also quick to point out the alleged incident had not happened on campus.
The university has been rocked by protests over fees, living conditions and a host of other issues over the past month. The protests have resulted in the arrest of scores of students in the past three weeks.
The university’s senate chambers on the Westville campus and the law library on the Howard College campus were torched, along with six cars at the Westville campus.
There have also been running battles between students and police. Social media platforms have been inundated with accusations and counters, with students accusing police of brutality and university management of failing to address their issues.