stellenbosch university gender-based violence gbv

Stellenbosch University Image credit Flickr/CISAbroad

Stellenbosch University investigates alleged case of GBV at residence

Stellenbosch University confirmed that an investigation is currently underway.

stellenbosch university gender-based violence gbv

Stellenbosch University Image credit Flickr/CISAbroad

Stellenbosch University student reported a case of gender-based violence (GBV) which allegedly took place at the Lobelia Senior Residence on 2 March 2021.

The student also shared details of the assault on Instagram via the @antigbv_su account, highlighting the “poor action taken by Stellenbosch University in response to the incident”.

A case was opened with the South African Police Service (SAPS) the following day. According to SU spokesperson Martin Viljoen, an investigation is currently underway.

Alleged case of GBV at Stellenbosch University

The incident was also reported to John Ruiters, the head of the residence, who said “the matter has been taken into consideration by the disciplinary committee”.

In addition, the senior director of SU student affairs, Dr Choice Makhetha, confirmed that the complaint was also “referred to the SU student disciplinary office and the Equality Unit or formal investigation”.

“The Division for Student Affairs (DSA) at SU is aware of and currently working with the involved students and appropriate university structures to investigate and resolve a GBV [gender-based violence] incident that took place at Lobelia Residence”.

Makhetha explained that the social media post on Instagram was “brought to the attention of the resident head”, who allegedly pointed out “several inaccuracies about the events that took place”.

Claim of inaccurate information

Ruiter claims to have interviewed each of the students involved in the assault to determine the way forward. As reported by MatieMedia, the Instagram post has been deleted and an apology issued for “posting inaccurate information”.  

The Anti GBV account explained that the University “did in fact assist the student timeously in reporting the case and attempting to remove the perpetrator from the residence”.

“After looking more into the events of the case and what was done for the student, we realised that there had been a massive miscommunication”.


Investigation underway

Makhetha confirmed that the victim will be provided with counselling, and reiterated that Stellenbosch University condemns all forms of gender-based violence “in the strongest possible terms”.

The victim has been provided with counselling, according to Makhetha, who added: “We are committed to creating an environment free of gender-based violence”.

Makhetha confirmed that the university will “act firmly and decisively against any person who is guilty of any form of gender-based violence”.

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