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Police arrest Cape Town student after vicious stabbing of woman at residence

Police arrest Cape Town student after vicious stabbing of woman at residence
Illustrative image: (Photos: Shelley Christians | Rawpixel | Gallo Images / Misha Jordaan | Gallo Images / ER Lombard | Supplied)

The horrific stabbing of a woman, allegedly by her partner, at a student residence in Cape Town was filmed on a cellphone, only a day after University of the Western Cape students marched against gender-based violence on the campus.

A woman is in a critical condition in hospital after a man viciously stabbed her at a privately owned student residence in Belhar on Saturday.

The pair are students from neighbouring universities, Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and the University of the Western Cape (UWC). Both are from the Eastern Cape. The man is from Elliotdale and the woman from East London.

According to UWC, the suspect (30) and the CPUT student (26) are in a committed relationship.

A student filmed the horrifying incident on a cellphone. The video shows a man stabbing a woman multiple times while she is on the ground. Blood can be seen pouring on to the floor as two other students try to plead with the man to stop.

The perpetrator first tries to charge at one of the students, then later puts his knife in his pocket while the woman lies in a pool of blood.

A moment later, students capture the man and assault him before he is taken away by security and eventually handed over to the police.

CPUT spokesperson Lauren Kansley said the female student was seriously wounded and transferred to Tygerberg Hospital for emergency surgery.

“She is being supported by CPUT management, and at this stage our focus is on her recovery and wellbeing and notifying her family. The alleged perpetrator has been arrested and will await a court appearance.”

She said therapy had been offered to fellow CPUT students who might have been traumatised by the attack, and the institution will roll out face-to-face counselling during the week.

The attack occurred only a day after hundreds of UWC students held a march and submitted a memorandum to the university protesting against gender-based violence (GBV), which they say is prevalent at the institution.

The UWC Student Representative Council (SRC) condemned the attack.

“As the UWC SRC, we disassociate the UWC student community from such a vile, inhumane and merciless act, and call upon the South African Police Service [SAPS] to ensure that this perpetrator, who has no place in our student community nor in society, is brought to book.”

The SRC said it decried the lack of adequate visible policing in the Belhar area, and the fact that there was no police station, not even a satellite police station, in an area where there are thousands of UWC and CPUT students.

“We therefore call upon the SAPS and the City of Cape Town to ensure that there [are] constant visible policing and patrols in the area. We also call upon the NPA to oppose bail should this perpetrator even think of applying for bail.”

Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said the suspect is under police guard at Tygerberg Hospital, and the police are investigating the stabbing incident. “Belhar police registered an attempted murder case following a stabbing incident on Saturday afternoon at a student accommodation in Belhar, where a 26-year-old female student was injured.”

UWC spokesperson Gasant Abarder said that the incident came at a time when the university had pronounced zero tolerance for GBV.

Siya Monakali from Ilitha Labantu, an organisation that advocates for the rights of women and children, condemned the attack and called for swift action by universities to prevent such incidents from happening again.

“We have been in communication with both institutions, UWC and CPUT, as we have opened up all our services to assist where we can in light of this incident. It’s also worth noting that the recently released quarterly crime statistics indicated that 10% of all GBV-related crimes took place at institutions of education, further highlighting the severity of the situation we are in.” DM


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