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UFS management says sexual assault, gender-based violence not tolerated

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The management of the University of the Free State (UFS) says it takes all cases of sexual assault seriously. It goes on to say that internal processes are underway in the investigation of an alleged rape case on campus.

The university has acknowledged that communication might have been slow. However, it says it does not tolerate gender-based violence.

UFS Student Affairs Executive Director, Temba Hlasho says, “The university management takes gender-based violence seriously, and every incident of gender-based violence we take it seriously. Just last month on the Qwaqwa campus, there was a similar incident, a student was dismissed who is an SRC member. So we take these matters very seriously.”

Shameful

The South African Union of Students (SAUS) has described an alleged rape incident at the University of the Free State campus as regrettable and shameful.

Students have marched on campus to hand over a memorandum to the varsity management.

They are demanding the suspension of the alleged perpetrator.

Spokesperson Asive Dlanjwa, says incidents of sexual assault on female students are becoming common.

Dlanjwa says, “Two months later, nothing has been done to bring justice for the survivor of that rape incident. So we are very much angered by this because it appears that the university is protecting its reputation at the expense, dignity and life of the survivor.”

Slow pace

The South African Students Congress (Sasco) has decried the pace of the investigation into an alleged rape case by the University of the Free State (UFS) that happened in March.

The student body says the delays are disruptive for both the victim and the alleged perpetrator.

A case of rape was reported to campus security almost two months ago. UFS Sasco Chairperson Nhlakanipho Malo says the matter should be finalised.

“We are very much afraid of the university processes in a sense that protection services have not done much about this…has not finalised internal processes to ensure that the case is taken for a disciplinary hearing.” – Reporting by Kamogelo Seekoei

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