With hundreds of first-year UCT students participating in RAG O-Week’s Sax Appeal, the university’s management has advised students to be cautious. The university says its prioritizing the safety of its students by increasing security and consciousness on campus, says the head of communications Elijah Mohalola.
UCT management has placed a focus on spreading awareness about the rapist by through constantly mailing students with warnings.
Security visibility has increased around the affected areas. More enforcement will be monitoring the area throughout the day.
Three incidents have been reported since December 11. Gerda Kruger, UCT’s executive director of the communication and marketing department, said these incidents have some similarities in terms of the modus operandi involved in the attacks.
“While it is too early to say at this stage, it may be possible that the same perpetrator is responsible.”
In the latest incident, the woman, who had been seriously injured, was assisted by the police and campus protection services (CPS) after being found on Rhodes Avenue, UCT said in a statement on Tuesday.
Her attacker reportedly broke her jaw.
Police said the suspect had threatened the victim, who was hiking in the area, with a knife. She was taken to the hospital.
“A case of robbery is being investigated. No one has been arrested at this stage. We urge anyone with information that can assist with the investigation to contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111,” said police spokeswoman, Constable Noloyiso Rwexana.
According to the university, a joint operation was conducted on Monday afternoon by the police, SANParks and CPS.
“It is our understanding that three people have been detained for questioning,” the university said.
On Tuesday afternoon, UCT spokesman Elijah Moholola said investigations were still continuing to determine whether the three suspects, who had been taken in for questioning, could be linked to any of the three incidents.
“It is still too early to tell whether this is the case at this stage.”
An article on the UCT website said that according to the police, the attacker has been described as a well-spoken man of slender build and in his mid-20s.
He appears to know the mountain well and wears a hoodie with black pants.
On Tuesday morning, UCT vice-chancellor Dr Max Price, representatives from student affairs and CPS visited the area where the attacks had taken place.
According to the article, Dr Price said he had come to see for himself where these “horrific” assaults had taken place as it was an area used by staff and students.
“I wanted to meet the police to see the site for myself and to see what more we could do to improve security in the area.”
The first attack took place on December 11 when a female student was attacked and raped by an unidentified man as she was walking from Rhodes Memorial towards UCT.
A second student reported that she had been raped by an unidentified man near the Rhodes Memorial restaurant on January 19.
The third woman is not a UCT student or staff member.
UCT has asked all members of the campus community to be vigilant around the area.
Mohalola says that the aim of these operations is to get the message across to make students more alert of their surroundings.
“We want to get the message out there to assist students to be careful and vigilant,” says Mohalola.