Three Students Representative Council members from the University of Namibia, who are also members of the Students Union of Namibia (SUN), have been suspended by the university and questioned by the police for allegedly raping a fellow student last month.
The students’ union claims the trio have been set up.
It is alleged the victim, a second-year student, was sexually assaulted at the new male hostel’s toilets.
In an interview with New Era, the university’s spokesperson John Haufiku said the three suspected rapists have not been arrested.
However, they were taken to the police station for questioning, and more information will be provided by the police once the investigations have been completed.
He said the victim is currently at her aunt’s house in Windhoek, where she is receiving support from the family.
“The Unam social services department has also managed to give counselling to the victim while she was hospitalised a week ago,” he explained.
He further stated that the institution has put up security measures to ensure sufficient protection for students, and also to protect students from being the victims of such crimes.
“Rape is a terrible thing and something very shameful to the Unam community, and this will not be allowed to happen at Unam,” Haufiku stressed.
As the suspects have not appeared in court, they cannot be named.
In a telephonic interview with New Era, SUN’s president Simon Kanepolo said there is no police case opened against any member of the union.
He further claimed that the incident was ‘a trap’ set up by Unam’s management because the union has received many votes during the institution’s SRC elections.
“We are having a serious problem with Unam because they were not happy when the union took up half of the votes during the election,” he added.
Student activist and SUN’s secretary general Berhard Kavau said “the matter is in the hands of the police and if those allegations are true, then the law will take its course. This is a very sensitive matter, and it’s very disheartening. As student leaders, we will continue to fight for the safety of our students.”
When asked for comment, Khomas regional police commander Ismael Basson said he was not aware of the incident.
“I am only hearing that from you, so I can’t comment at the moment,” he responded.