Gunshots rattle NMU protest following student rape

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Students are in shock after gunshots were fired this morning during student protests. While protests in response to the rape and assault of two students on Monday evening continued at Nelson Mandela University (NMU) this morning, a driver fired off four shots after being refused entrance.

The latest incident in the #NMUShutdown saga struck earlier this morning, turning what had been the scene of a protest into a crime scene as police began investigating the incident.

 

Protests broke out and entrances to campuses were blocked yesterday to demand better security after news broke of Monday’s incident, in which one student was raped and another stabbed inside one of the university’s computer labs.

Yesterday morning students gathered at the North and South campus entrances to discuss safety and security concerns at the institution. The protest was carried out peacefully, although a tyre was set alight and branches placed across the road.

UNM’s SRC issued a statement in which it condemned NMU’s security services for their “lethargic” approach to students’ safety and called for heightened security on all university campuses.

“The students were threatened with a pair of scissors. They were robbed of their cellphones and wallets. One of the students was allegedly raped in the lab. Thereafter the suspect made the two students carry the computer box and monitor outside,” police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu told the Herald. “After jumping over the gate, he ordered them to pass the equipment to him. Police are investigating a case of rape and robbery.”

NMU spokeswoman Zandile Mbabela said the university did not “take these matters lightly and trust that the perpetrator will be brought to book”, adding that the two students had received medical attention and counselling.

One student, who did not want to be named, told the Herald: “There is no way we were going to wake up this morning and go about ‘business as usual’. This is an abnormality. This cannot happen on our campus. Management must meet our demands.” Another student said: “Rape is a serious issue. This [pointing to the students gathered] is exactly how this makes us feel. We are not going to take this sh*t anymore,” she said.

 

Additional sources:

www.heraldlive.co.za/news/2017/10/03/female-students-violent-attack-nmu

www.heraldlive.co.za/news/2017/10/03/students-gather-nmu-rape-stabbing