Student sues after professor cleared of rape
The law student at Unisa who alleged that a professor had raped her – he was cleared after a disciplinary hearing at the university – is challenging the decision in a civil case.
The 30-year-old is claiming R750 000 from the professor and R200 000 from Unisa, arguing that the university had a duty to protect her from him, says a City Press report.
According to the student, she and the professor were in his office in November 2014 working on a novel she wanted to publish. He then took her to her apartment and became amorous. She asked him whether he had a condom and told him that she would not have unprotected sex. She alleges that he ignored her and raped her. Afterwards, she saw that he had genital warts, she alleges.
The student argues that the university’s decision to clear the academic was irrational and unreasonable and she is asking the court to set it aside. Unisa is opposing the case.
The university denies that the professor forced the woman to do anything she did not want to do. During his disciplinary hearing, the professor testified that the student was the ‘initiator’ on the day that he took her home, and denied that there was a ‘penetrative sexual act’ between them.
In addition, the university argues, the student did not submit a medical report to the disciplinary hearing. After the incident, the university claims, she visited the professor and asked him for financial assistance.
Once the relationship between them soured, she made the allegation of sexual harassment. According to Unisa, the student should have laid a charge of rape with the police immediately, but she did not do so.
© Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd 2016
Article disclaimer: Juta expressly reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to alter or amend any criteria or information set out in this article without notice. Accordingly, any information, including journalistic articles, are not intended to constitute legal, financial, accounting, tax, investment, consulting or other professional advice or services. Before making any decision or taking any action based on the information contained in this article, which decision or action might affect your personal finances or business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor.