UCT Vice-Chancellor apologises for ‘offensive’ tweet to raped student

University of Cape Town (UCT) Vice-Chancellor, Mamokgethi Phakeng has apologised for her response to allegations of rape by a student on social media. 

On 18 May, an anonymous student took to Twitter to detail how she was allegedly raped at UCT premises by a lecturer while security officers were watching. 


According to the student, the incident was reported to the University of Cape Town, however, the institution failed to act and suspend the alleged rapist. 

UCT Vice-Chancellor, Mamokgethi Phakeng said the student has been making the same allegations for three years now, however, she is refusing help from the university. She also said they want to know what exactly is the student’s agenda on making these claims. 

In a statement, the university said although no specific details were provided it understands that the tweets are in relation to an ongoing matter that is being jointly addressed by specific departments in government, in collaboration with UCT. 

UCT said that it is aware that the allegation of sexual misconduct is being investigated by SAPS. The Western Cape Government is also conducting investigations around the matter. 


Phakeng said she fully understands the anger that followed her comment and believes that it was justified because South Africa continues to battle with the scourge of gender-based violence. 

“I withdraw the tweet. I will continue to do all I can to ensure that students are safe,” she said. 

The UCT VC also said that students shou;d never allow anyone to subject them to abuse. 

“The main purpose of my apology and withdrawal of my tweet is to make sure that our students have the courage to report such conduct, with the confidence that we will act.”

Mamokgethi Phakeng

ALSO READ: University of Cape Town rocked by rape allegations

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