South Africa: Wits Rape Probe To Be ‘Sensitive, Inclusive’

Researcher Nomboniso Gasa vowed on Sunday to investigate Wits University’s handling of a rape complaint in a manner that was sensitive, ethical and inclusive.

Rape chai

“It is a task I do not take lightly. I am aware of its significance and what is at stake,” she said in a statement.

“In accepting this appointment, I committed myself to be independent, ethical, sensitive and inclusive.”

Wits University vice chancellor Professor Adam Habib appointed Gasa to conduct an investigation into the university’s handling of the alleged rape of a student at the Wits Junction residence.

This is in addition to the university’s investigation into the incident, which took place on October 30.

Previously, Habib said he had met with the student and her mother on the university’s handling of the rape, following allegations that the Wits structures and managers “did not respond timeously and sensitively to the complainant’s concerns”.

On Sunday, Gasa said she would consult with various people, including the university’s management, academics, students and activists.

Policies and procedures already in place would be interrogated, to determine whether there had been any lapses.

Her final report would include proposals for remedial action as well as recommendations on how the university should approach future rape complaints.

Gasa said she would begin her investigation on Monday and her report would be submitted within three days.

Gasa’s research interests incorporate gender, politics, land and cultural issues. She has published on various issues including rape and gender based violence.


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