We can confirm that one of our students, charged with attempted murder in a gender-based violence incident, has been suspended from campus and all residences associated with the University of the Western Cape (UWC).
An urgent Vice-Rector’s Tribunal was called this morning by the Office of the Proctor. The Deputy Vice Chancellor: Student Development and Support, Professor Matete Madiba, presided over the Tribunal and she suspended the student after hearing and viewing evidence. The Proctor argued that the perpetrator was a danger to fellow students and must be removed from all UWC-associated spaces with immediate effect.
The University condemns the action and there cannot be any justification for such cruelty. We wish to extend our thoughts and prayers to the family of the victim who is fighting for her life in hospital, and our thoughts are with them during this difficult time.
In the last seven months, UWC came together with the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), Northlink College, the Neighbourhood Watch, Community Policing Forum in Belhar, and SAPS, with each stakeholder committing to working together to address the safety and security of students.
CPUT is our neighbour and students have always interacted and related to each other politically, culturally and socially for so many years. It is therefore important that this relationship assists in many practical ways to address the scourge of gender-based violence and other societal ills.
On Friday, UWC students marched against GBV and submitted a Memorandum of Grievances to the Executive Management of the University. There are cases that the Office of the Proctor is busy investigating and these are being prioritised because UWC has a zero tolerance approach to GBV.
The University rules are applied without fear or favour and the investigators must be allowed to complete their investigations. It is important to conduct our expression of anger and activism within the prescripts of the law.
For gender, sexual, homophobic and transphobic violence emergencies, the following contacts are available:
– The Gender Equity Unit office, +27 21 959 2812
– Campus Protection Services, +27 21 959 2100
– Residential Services Reslife Office, +27 21 959 3556/7
– Centre for Student Support Services, +27 21 959 2299
– After Hour Toll Free, 0800 222 333
As a campus community, we aim to build an inclusive and tolerant campus environment which challenges existing deep-rooted gender stigmas, patriarchal ideologies and sexist structures.