Investigation into claim cop sexually assaulted UKZN student

2016-09-07 21:50
UKZN students protesting on the Westville campus. (The Daily Vox, Twitter)

UKZN students protesting on the Westville campus. (The Daily Vox, Twitter)

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Durban – Police are investigating the sexual assault of a University of KwaZulu-Natal student, allegedly by an officer, a spokesperson said on Wednesday.

A sexual assault case was opened at Durban’s Alexandra Road police station, no arrests had been made yet, Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane said.

University spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said the alleged sexual assault took place off campus on Monday.

A woman who said she was a UKZN school of arts lecturer, Pumelela Nqelenga, wrote on Facebook that a police officer raped the female student at the Pietermaritzburg campus on Monday.

“SAPS raped a student last night during the protest. We have been waiting for an ambulance… RMS [Risk Management Services] wanted her to pay for the ambulance but we are stopping it. During the protest black women are being sexually assaulted,” she wrote.

Nqelenga could not be reached for comment.

On Wednesday, UKZN Pietermaritzburg SRC chairperson Sipelele Nguse told News24 that students and police clashed following the alleged sexual assault.

He said the victim was able to identify the officer and they knew who he was. When students demanded that he leave the campus, police pepper-sprayed them, he said.

On Thursday, students intend marching to the local police station to protest against police brutality.

Nguse said the university’s management had shown a lack of leadership.

A section of the Howard College law library building caught fire around 17:30 on Tuesday. Six university cars and a building were set alight on the Westville campus on Monday night.

The violence was apparently related to an expected announcement on university fee increases for next year. Students had been demanding that there be no increase at all.  

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Natasha Kara said 24 students were on Wednesday arrested and charged with public violence, damage to property, and participating in an illegal gathering.

Most of them were arrested during clashes with police on the Westville campus. They were given R1000 bail and their case was postponed to October 10.

Read more on:    ukzn  |  durban  |  university protests  |  education  |  crime

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