Cape Town – Another female UCT student has been brutally attacked, assaulted and raped off campus, the university said on Thursday.
University of Cape Town spokesperson Gerda Kruger said they were only informed of the Tuesday evening attack late last night [Wednesday].
The university said it could not be certain, but it seemed as though the attack was similar to three previous attacks near Rhodes Memorial, and that the assailant might also be the same person.
The 28-year-old student was running along the bicycle path near the Princess Anne Drive bridge in Newlands when a man threatened her with a knife, Kruger said.
He severely assaulted her and forced her into the bushes, towards the Rhodes Memorial area.
"The man held her captive for some hours and raped her. The man later forced her to walk to a garage, where she was able to break free from the attacker and was assisted by staff to phone the South African Police Services for help.”
She was admitted to hospital.
Held captive in an isolated area
Western Cape police said they were investigating the incident.
Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut said she was held captive and raped in an isolated area.
She managed to escape on Wednesday evening.
"At this stage it is too soon to link this case with similar cases perpetrated earlier this year in that area," he said. No arrest had yet been made.
“We feel a deep sense of pain for any person who endures such an assault and violation, and for their family,” Kruger said.
The university felt a sense of responsibility for the safety of every student and staff member, but said it could not realistically monitor the movements of 35 000 people a day.
"We firmly hold the view that every student and staff member should be able to move without restriction and go where they please. Society should be that safe."
However the university asked again that all students and staff avoided walking or running alone.
Claims of ‘rape culture’ at Stellenbosch University
The university recently established a sexual assault response team.
Stellenbosch University has also established a task team on alleged sexual offences to investigate claims of a "rape culture" at the institution, spokesperson Martin Viljoen said on Thursday.
He said management had recently learnt with shock of a reported rape of a female student outside Harmonie Residence in February.
She was being offered support and no arrests had yet been made.
Rector and Vice Chancellor Wim de Villiers expressed dismay and urged the police to make sure the incident was thoroughly investigated.
He urged people to report any sexual abuse, harassment or rape to their crisis centre or campus security, as well as police.