UCT in urgent response to allegation of sexual assault

UCT in urgent response to allegation of sexual assault

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Cape Town – In the wake of publicly made sexual assault allegations against one of its students, UCT said its executive was treating the matter with the urgency and seriousness it demands.

Students on Tuesday marched to the Kopano Residence where they escorted a student to the Mowbray police station to hand him over to police.

But police spokesperson FC Van Wyk said that no criminal case had been registered.

The student representative council (SRC), of which the person was a member, said in a statement on Wednesday that the person resigned during a special meeting that was called after two SRC members resigned due to academic pressures they felt.

He also claimed the same reasons for his resignation.

“Following our announcement of the resignations on Twitter, allegations against (the person) surfaced on social media.

“We then called an urgent meeting late at night. The SRC strongly condemns all forms of gender-based violence.

“We share the outrage of the student body and are shocked and disgusted that we have led alongside an alleged perpetrator.

“We also note the pain and trauma that may have resurfaced owing to this event, especially for survivors of this kind of violence.”

The person’s name has circulated widely on social media.

His resignation is only to be effective at the end of the mid-year holidays, and in the interim the SRC resolved to lodge a case with the Student Government Court, for his immediate suspension.

“Over and above this, we will deploy a member to specifically monitor the case, to ensure that it does not fall through the cracks. Going forward we will support the survivors in obtaining justice.”

UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola said the executive was urgently looking into the matter, and would ensure that due process is followed and that the matter is concluded as speedily as possible.

“The university is providing support to the survivor through the Office for Inclusivity and Change (OIC), whose staff have specialist skills in responding to allegations such as these.

“The matter will be fully investigated by the special tribunal so that the university can review the allegations and ensure that due process is followed.”

UCT EFFSC chairperson Sandile Manoane said they have not yet received any formal complaint about the matter, but will be taking it to the Central Command Team (CSCT), which is the national structure empowered to suspend or expel members from the EFF Students’ Command.

Staff and students who have experienced sexual assault or sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) can contact the OIC on 021 650 3530 (office hours) or 072 393 7824 (24/7 standby number).

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