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UCT denies gagging rape survivors

todayMarch 11, 2024 37

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The University of Cape Town (UCT) has strongly refuted allegations that it has served 30 rape survivors with a gag order.

The claims come amid a re-opened case by a former student who accuses a senior lecturer of having sexually violated her.

“There is no truth to this at all. Where does this originate from? Who’s making the claim? Do they have anything to substantiate this? GBV is too serious a scourge. We wouldn’t as UCT want to be merely seen to be “dismissing” such claims, and giving them oxygen, when in the first place the media should report responsibly, seek corroboration and then decide to report or not.”

The case was re-opened in February after the student in the eye of the storm took to social media, under the name ‘RAPED@UCT’, and shared how she was raped on the institution’s grounds and UCT failed to suspend the lecturer.

The two were also working together for the Western Cape Health and Wellness Department at the time of the alleged incident.

The young woman says due to the violent nature of the rape, she was left infertile and infected with chlamydia. She also drastically lost weight. She, however, she did not contract HIV.

When YNews asked her if she had tried to get help from the university, she said she was instructed to keep the matter internal and not report it.

However, when she approached the police and opened a rape case, the suspect fired her.

The young woman, who is now in her 30s, says she is so depressed that she even wonders every day why the said Professor didn’t kill her instead. She says she has attempted suicide eight times since her rape.

She further alleges that the professor in question has placed a hit on her 23 times.

UCT, however, believes there is no merit to the case.

The institution says investigations by the Western Cape Department of Health found that the former student had made fraudulent claims of rape and sexual harassment by fabricating evidence.

YNews reporter Lindiwe Mpanza elaborates further on the university’s take in the audio below.

 

A rape survivor from the institution, who has asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal, has rejected the institution’s assertions that it’s created a safe and supportive environment for her peers.

“UCT has ordered all prior registered rape victims not to engage with media to stop their name being affected negatively. This allows them to maintain an image that rape doesn’t exist in the institution.”

Written by: Nokwazi Qumbisa

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