Nelson Mandela University students protest after rape and robbery

Nelson Mandela University students protested on Tuesday morning.  Image: Werner Hills
Nelson Mandela University students protested on Tuesday morning. 
Image: Werner Hills


Nelson Mandela University students protested on Tuesday morning after violent attacks on students at one of the Port Elizabeth institution’s campuses.

A 25-year-old student was raped and her friend stabbed in the computer lab at the Second Avenue campus on Monday.

Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said the Family Violence‚ Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS) was investigating a case of rape and robbery.

“The students were threatened with a pair of scissors. They were robbed of their cellphones and wallets. One of the students was allegedly raped in the lab‚” Naidu said.

“Thereafter the suspect made the two students carry the computer box and monitor outside. After jumping over the gate‚ he ordered them to pass the equipment to him. The suspect is unknown.”

Students‚ speaking on condition of anonymity‚ told HeraldLIVE they wanted to meet with university management to address ongoing concerns about safety on campus.

One student‚ who did not want to be named‚ said: “There is no way we were going to wake up this morning and go about ‘business as usual’. This is an abnormality. This cannot happen on our campus. Management must meet our demands.”

Another student agreed.

“Rape is a serious issue. This [pointing to the students gathered] is exactly how this makes us feel. We are not going to take this sh*t anymore‚” she said.

One other student‚ also female‚ said they would not rest until management addressed the issue.

Tests that were meant to be written on Tuesday will be rescheduled due to the shutdown of all NMU campuses. 

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“I feel that we are not safe. I feel that it’s so discouraging for us because it could have been any one of us‚” she said.

“We have been reporting this issue to NMU and they haven’t done anything about it. We are not going to take it anymore.”

NMU spokeswoman Zandile Mbabela said the university did not “take these matters lightly and trust that the perpetrator will be brought to book”.

“It is indeed with great shock and sadness that we receive news of the rape and stabbing of our students. Both students received initial medical attention‚ with counselling and other support mechanisms in place for the rape victim‚” she said.

– HeraldLIVE