The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training is saddened by media reports about an alleged rape incident at Wits University where the perpetrator is allegedly still housed at one of the university’s residences and also allowed to sit for exams.
The Chairperson of the Committee, Ms Connie September, said the Committee is outraged.
“If indeed this allegation is true the law must take its course over and above the university's disciplinary proceedings. The perpetrator should be brought to book,” said Ms September.
She said the Committee will write to the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande, and the Vice-Chancellor of Wits University, Prof Adam Habib, so that the matter can be speedily investigated.
“Rape culture at universities should be dealt with and eliminated. Our universities should not be centres of despair and torture for women,” said Ms September.
Media reports on Thursday indicated that Wits housed a rape perpetrator in one of its residences in Parktown and that he was allowed to sit for exams. From media reports it is indicated that residence management did not appear to sympathise with the victim.
“This phenomenon is prevalent at many other universities too. All people, especially women, should and must feel safe wherever they are,” said Ms September.
She said there must be a change of attitude among male students towards female students.
Issued by Parliamentary Communication Services on behalf of the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Ms Connie September