Bhisho to step in to probe sexual abuse at EC university

16:42 (GMT+2) Mon, 08 Apr 2019

Eastern Cape Safety and Liaison MEC, Weziwe Tikana, says she has “instructed the police” to set up a team to investigate allegations of sexual offenses at the Nelson Mandela University.

This followed Friday’s silent protest by a group of students during the institution’s graduation ceremony last Friday where two male students who are alleged perpetrators of sexual abuse were allowed to graduate.

The group Activists Connexion, allege that one of the students was convicted of rape and the other was found guilty of sexual assault “through internal procedures” but were allowed to continue with their studies.

Spokesperson, Nobubele Phuza said there were ten cases of sexual harassment and assault reported at NMU since the beginning of the year.

MEC Tikana said that the student protest highlighted what has widely been termed as a rape culture in a number of universities across the country and the perceived failure by institutions to adequately deal with these cases.

She commended the students for taking a stand to highlight their plight.

Nelson Mandela University meanwhile said that members of management met with the protesting students in between graduation sessions, with a view to discussing the issues raised.

"These engagements are set to continue in more detail, as the parties are finding each other on most of these issues," said Dean of Students, Luthando Jack.