University of Pretoria students take to the streets against alleged rapist

University of Pretoria students take to the streets against alleged rapist

University of Pretoria students in the streets of Hatfield, marching to the Brooklyn police station. Photo: Keitumetse Maako

The teenager said she decided to open the case against her 22-year-old alleged attacker after learning of the death of Uyinene Mrwetyana.

University of Pretoria students took to the streets on Tuesday, to ensure one of their own was arrested after a charge of rape was opened against him.

The students took to the streets of Hatfield and marched to the Brooklyn police station on Tuesday afternoon after a 19-year-old student opened the case.

The student was allegedly raped in September 2018.

Speaking to Pretoria East Rekord, the teenager said she decided to open the case against her 22-year-old alleged attacker, after learning of the death of UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana, who was found raped and murdered on Monday afternoon.

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“It reminded me that my rapist was still on the loose because I haven’t reported him yet and because of fear and stigmatisation,” she said.

The student said she decided to tweet her alleged rapist’s name and after reaction from Twitter users, had decided to go to the police station to open a case.

University of Pretoria students march to the Brooklyn police station. Photo: Keitumetse Maako

Brooklyn police spokesperson Captain Collete Weilbach confirmed the suspect was arrested in the early hours of Tuesday morning and was due to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

Prior to the student-organised march, the university held a vigil for all students affected by issues related to gender-based violence and the ongoing scourge of xenophobic attacks in the country.

“When you go online on social media you often read about a student who has gone missing, a student who can’t be found or someone who was raped or harassed,” said SRC president David Kabwa.

He said that vigil was held in the afternoon as “many students had raised their concern about their safety at night”.

University of Pretoria spokesperson Rikus Delport said that a post-graduate student was arrested and that a police sergeant with nearly two decades of experience in sexual assault and rape cases was appointed to assist students on and off-campus.

Delport said students would receive any other assistance needed.

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