From the news desk

Safety fears mount after new UCT attack

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A 22-year-old University of Cape Town student was held up at gunpoint near the medical campus on Monday in the latest in a string of attacks which has rocked the student community and surrounding areas in recent weeks.

Sebastian Scheidereiter said he felt lucky to be alive after two men robbed him at gunpoint at about midday on Monday.

The second year medical student was walking to his car in Falmouth road near Groote Schuur hospital when two men wearing caps and sunglasses approached him.

“They looked dodgy and so I tried to cross the road to avoid them. That was when they came running towards me pointing a revolver,” he told ANA.

The men demanded his cellphone and wallet. They ran off with his backpack which contained an ipad, his student card, and study notes. They also ripped off the gold necklace Scheidereiter was wearing around his neck.

The medical student was ordered to crouch down as his attackers fled the scene.

In a disturbing twist, the shocked student started walking back to campus when a young woman ran towards him crying.

“She had just been hijacked and the incidents were two minutes apart. In her case, there were four people. She was driving and saw a car in front of her covered in grafitti. Two men jumped out of the car and ordered her out of her car at gunpoint,” Scheidereiter said.

Also a UCT student, the woman joined Scheidereider to report the attacks to campus security. In her case, Scheidereiter said the hijacking was in the road parallel to Falmouth road.

The university’s spokesperson Kylie Hatton said: “UCT is deeply concerned about these latest incidents and we will be working with police to try and apprehend the suspects.”

She said the university had seen “a disturbing increase in crime around UCT”.

Police are already investigating a suspected serial rapist after at least three women were attacked near Rhodes Memorial, close to UCT in recent weeks.

Last month, the institution warned students and staff to avoid the area around Rhodes Memorial due to a series of attacks but in the latest attack last week a female student was ambushed as she was crossing a pedestrian bridge near the M3 towards Rhodes Memorial and raped over the course of several hours.

It was the third rape incident reported in the vicinity of Rhodes Memorial since December – one other was an attempted rape.

On Monday, Woodstock police arrived at the campus to take down statements from Scheidereider and the hijacking victim.

Scheidereider described his attackers as tall and skinny.

“It has affected me, I have had a knife held to me before, but it’s not a nice feeling having a gun in my face. I probably won’t walk down that road anymore,” Scheidereider said, adding that he was planning to go for counselling at UCT.

[Source: iol]
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