‘I felt numb and broken’

2014-11-12 00:00

A UKZN student was raped and robbed within the Pietermaritzburg campus — two months after another was raped at knife-point in a bathroom.

The traumatised first-year student, whose name is known to The Witness, said she was leaving the DSLT lecture building — where she was studying for exams — at around 4 am on Saturday when three men approached her.

She said one man approached from the back and offered to accompany her, but she ignored him. She said two other men then emerged in front of her and dragged her to a nearby dark corner, where she was raped.

“I could not scream because they closed my mouth. One man forced himself into me while the other two held my hands and head,” she said.

“I was in an overwhelming state of shock and felt that I could not even run away. I was puzzled by what was happening.”

She said the men then fled with her wallet, including her cellphone. She wept for over 15 minutes after the ordeal and didn’t know what to do.

“I felt numb and broken. I then went to my place and locked myself in the room for two days, crying and trying to make sense of this,” she said, sobbing.

She said she only told her mother on Monday and opened a case later that day. Her mother also took her to a doctor where she was given pills to prevent any infections.

Asked why she had not reported the matter to the university, she said she wasn’t thinking straight.

“I was so scared and wanted this to pass. I cannot sleep at night as the scenes of the incident still haunt me. I’m still shaking when I think about it.”

University spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said the institution has not yet received a report of a rape. She said the university condemns such violence and every effort would be made together with the police to bring the perpetrators to book.

“Risk Management Services urges students to use the after-hours escort service provided for students who wish to go between the libraries, computer labs and their residences on campus,” she said.

“Students and staff are advised to report any suspicious activity to the relevant RMS office.”

Seshoka said the university has set aside R3,4 million to upgrade the security cameras on all five campuses.

Police spokesperson Jay Naicker said a rape case was opened on Monday and is being investigated by the Pietermaritzburg Family Violence, Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Unit. He said no arrests have been made.

A 22-year-old woman was raped at knife-point in a toilet at the same campus in September this year, while an American exchange student was raped in a toilet cubicle at Howard College in Durban in 2007.

• khanyisani.dlomo@witness.co.za

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