The United Democratic Movement is disgruntled by the prevalence of violent crimes and aggression perpetuated against female students in King Sabata Dalindyebo (KSD) College, in Mngazi Campus in Libode and Maphuzi Campus in Coffee Bay.
Like many other Colleges located in rural areas, KSD College does not have student accommodation or even a leased private accommodation, students are expected to rent from the locals, which compromises their safety as they are subjected to violence and bad living conditions. Due to that, a significant number of students have been unable to attend school and some have resorted to drop out.
Many female students in KSD Ngazi campus have been forced to flee their place of residence, fearing for their safety as they are being brutally raped, intimidated, harassed and robbed by community members in Libode.
The similar culture of criminality is also taking place in Maphuzi Campus, where female students are being raped and robbed by community members. Several rape cases have been reported to the Police Station in Coffee Bay, however there has not been any tangible progress regarding the investigation of cases.
Unfortunately, some of these brutal incidents are happening during Youth Month, where young people are supposed to commemorate the freedom that the Youth of 1976 fought for. On the 16 June 2023, two female students were raped in Maphuzi Campus and another one was raped on the 9 of May 2023.
Sexual assaults is one of the brutal forms of GBV which has been a pandemic in South Africa. Meanwhile, the college has demonstrated high levels of negligence in addressing the violence against students.
The absence of student accommodation is a failure of both the DHET and the College management. DHET should conduct inspection to ensure that students in Colleges have decent accommodation and adequate learning resources. Also, DHET is failing to monitor the infrastructure efficiency grant which results in their inability to subsidies the construction of residences in colleges.
The UDM calls DHET together with the College Management personnel must prioritize the construction of a safe student accommodation to ensure there is an absence of possible harm, a place where students can learn without fear of ridicule, intimidation, harassment or violence.
Also, we call on SAPS Stations in Coffee Bay and Libode KSD Campuses to conduct thorough investigations and ensure that all perpetrators face the full might of the law.
Mr Yongama Zigebe
UDM Secretary General