- A former Student Representative Council (SRC) member has been accused of alleged sexual assault.
- The University of Cape Town said it was treating the incident with seriousness and urgency.
- Protest action took place on Lower Campus on Tuesday evening, where the former SRC member was escorted from his residence to Mowbray police station.
The University of Cape Town (UCT) has confirmed it has been made aware of allegations of sexual assault against a former Student Representative Council (SRC) member.
It is understood the allegations came to light on Tuesday evening, which then led to students embarking on protest action.
UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola told News24 the executive was treating the incident with the "urgency and seriousness it demands", and would ensure due process was followed, and that it be concluded as speedily as possible.
"The UCT executive appreciates and understands that a case like this causes significant anxiety in society and across the UCT community," Moholola said.
"However, it should be made clear that publicly naming alleged perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence [SGBV], particularly on social media, is not legal. There is a risk that defamation cases can be brought against individuals making such allegations. This works against the interests of the survivors of SGBV."
He added the university encouraged those who have been affected by SGBV to come forward.
"Students and staff members are urged to use channels available at UCT to lay charges against alleged perpetrators so that the right processes can be followed."
The former EFF SRC member, who News24 understands recently resigned from the council, has been vocal about fighting gender-based violence.
In a statement, the SRC said it was "disgusted" by these alleged actions.
"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."
It confirmed the protest action that took place on Tuesday evening.
The protest took place on Lower Campus, where the former SRC member was escorted from his residence to Mowbray police station.
Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said no criminal case was registered.
In a manifesto, an EFF member said the university reflected society in that certain groups were vulnerable, including poor, black, LGBTI+ and female students.
"The gender-based violence discourse in recent years [has shown] the need for a representative to advocate for women who have been silenced and alienated while their perpetrators [face] no disciplinary actions," the manifesto stated.
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