South African Students Congress NMU secretary Sonwabiso Mdani said it was unacceptable for students to live in fear of being raped or attacked when they should be focused on obtaining a good education. Speaking to HeraldLIVE‚ Mdani said they intend to demonstrate on campus until the university takes their grievances seriously.
“Yesterday there was a situation where a student was raped and another was stabbed at a laboratory. As a result we are shutting down all campuses until the university takes action. It must take a decision and beef up security on our campuses‚” said Mdani.
Mdani said that the police should be visible on campus all the time and “not only during Fees Must Fall protests”.
The students are calling for increased police visibility on campus and around other student residences‚ and additional training for campus security on how to deal with incidents of this nature.
“The police must be deployed to roam around campus. They [police] must not only come to our campuses during Fees Must Fall but they must be here constantly to ensure that we are safe. Security must be in force. Students are the ones suffering. The university is easy to access because it’s an open institution‚ even people without student cards can just walk in‚ and it’s easy to get inside‚” said Mdani.
Mdani said this was not the first time students have complained about security.
The Herald reported that during protests over campus safety in March a banner with the heading #WeAreNotSafe was circulated around campus all week collecting signatures. An estimated 5 000 people signed the banner.