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 disciplinary hearing.”
Meanwhile, USF management says it is aware of the alleged rape incident.
University Spokesperson Lacea Loader says the necessary steps were taken to assist the student in line with the institution’s protocols. Loader says investigations have been conducted and concluded by both university’s Protection Services and the investigating team.
She says the matter is currently with the institution’s unit responsible for student discipline for further handling.
Students fear for their safety
Students from the university say they are concerned about their general safety on campus.
They say nothing is being communicated about the case and are demanding answers.
“As a female student I don’t feel safe because first of all with these cases, we have to go about ourselves as students to find how far the process is because the university did not even release any statement telling us about the case,” says one student.
Another student says: “The country finds itself in a crisis and the institution once again neglects the call for women and we will not allow those who want to hide behind the university.”
“I feel it is important to stand together as women and as students because we don’t know how this affected the person affected by the rape case. I mean it could have been me or it could have been my sister or someone I know,” adds another student.
Students marched to demonstrate their dissatisfaction in the way that the university has handled the matter, as seen in the video below:
Student Affairs Director, Temba Hlasho, has meanwhile told SABC News that the university takes issues of gender-based violence very seriously.
Hlasho explains in the video below:
-Report by Kamogelo Seekoei
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