Rhodes steps up its security measuresDate Released: Wed, 13 June 2018 09:40 +0200
Rhodes University Vice-Chancellor, Dr Sizwe Mabizela, has reiterated an earlier call to anyone with information about an alleged rape incident on campus on Sunday to come forward to assist the investigation.
Preliminary investigation of the matter has been inconclusive. Written statements from several students who heard strange noises coming from outside their residence were submitted. CCTV footage shows a couple fitting the description in the statements walking past several vehicles and students and past Amina Cachalia residence into a dark area.
Minutes later when concerned students from the residence approached the site of the incident, the couple seem to split up with one running away and another walking in a different direction.
“Finding a complainant in this case is a significant missing step. We are hamstrung in our investigation due to this fact. We guarantee confidentiality and support to anyone who can assist in resolving this case,” Dr Mabizela said.
Reports of the alleged rape have raised concerns among students and staff. Meetings between Dr Mabizela and members of the Students Representative Council and some students were held today.
The University regularly reviews and assesses its safety and security arrangements to ensure that students and staff feel safe on campus. To this end, Dr Mabizela committed to stepping up security around campus with the following measures becoming immediately implementable:
- Security patrols on campus will be increased.
- Lighting on campus will be improved.
- Daily certification of the operation of panic/SOS buttons around campus will be conducted.
- Capacity of the Campus Protection Unit will be increased.
- Liaison with the SAPS will be made more frequent on all reported cases.
On the issue of Leave of Absence (LOA) it was clarified that the policy will be applied in cases where students wish to show genuine cause for their absence, or where circumstances are such that they cannot meet their Faculty requirements.
LOA’s are granted at the discretion of the Head of Department. Extended LOAs (that require deregistration) are granted by the Director of Student Affairs.
Students who wish to apply for LOA should do so by completing the relevant form available from the Student Bureau www.ru.ac.za/registrar/forms
Students who require counselling services are encouraged to access the Counselling Centre at Steve Biko Centre.
Students are encouraged to report all incidents of violence by calling the University’s afterhours number 082 803 1077 or by approaching Student Counselling Unit, Office of the Vice-Chancellor, Campus Protection Unit, Division of Students Affairs or the South African Police Services (SAPS).