YCL condemns rape of foreign student

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

The Young Communist (YCL) League has strongly condemned the raping of a US student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

The 21-year-old exchange student, who has only been in the country for a year, was allegedly raped while she was busy taking a bath in the Mabel Palmer residence at the university's Howard College Campus on Tuesday.

The incident has left students at all the university campuses terrified.

The local police and the university authorities are investigating the case, while the student is receiving counselling at a safe house.

The incident happened just a week before the start of the 16 days of Activism Against Women and Children Abuse.

YCL national spokesman Castro Ngobese described the incident as "gruesome and senseless'.

"This barbaric and unacceptable raping of the student raises serious concerns about the safety of students in institutions of higher learning," said Ngobese.

Ngobese said a similar incident happened at the Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg, where a female student was raped while on duty.

He said it was unfortunate that no one was arrested.

Ngobese said rape incidents had become part of "our daily realities that we are faced with".

He urged police to work tirelessly until the perpetrator was brought to book.

A student on campus, who did not want to be named, said the fees which students paid did not compliment the poor services provided by the university.

She said though there were security measures in place such as CCTV cameras and electrical gates, criminal incidents still took place at the university.

Student Representative Counsel president Sanele Shabalala said the electrical access gates and CCTV cameras were faulty.

He, however, denied that these had posed a serious threat on the safety of the students.

Shabalala said the man suspected of raping the girl from the US, was a well-known former student, who dropped out a few months ago but was still squatting on campus.

"There are students that squat to gain access to study resources. This is not encouraged, but we are aware that students who reside far from the university do it to gain easy access to study resources.

Police spokesman Vincent Mdunge said no arrests had been made.