Students experience break-ins and theft at residences

A student’s room was broken into and her stationery and laptop, along with her charger and documents for the laptop, were taken.

Lee-Anca Harris, a social work student at Nemesia Residence, was notified by her roommate that their double room had been broken into. She came home from Mitchell’s Plain on 1 April to find their belongings were out of place.

“When I got the call from my roommate I did not want to believe it at first but then I realised she was serious. My laptop, along with my charger and documents for the laptop have been stolen out of my cupboard, which was hidden away. My room is on the third floor, so why would someone walk in all the way to steal my things?,” said Harris.

The break-in is currently under investigation.

The primaria and vice-primaria of Nemesia would not comment on the matter as an investigation is still in progress.

The spokesperson of Stellenbosch University, Martin Viljoen, said: “In the case of Nemesia, precautionary measures and procedures are communicated to the House in the Nemesia House Manual. The procedures are also communicated at house and section meetings, where relevant.

Nemesia ladies residence is one of the many residences experiencing theft and break-ins. PHOTO: Marsha Leitch

Safety and Security is a standing point on the House Committee (HK) Agenda and where applicable, relevant information is communicated to the House via email and the House’s WhatsApp Group.  Residents are reminded via email about safety and security measures.”

An email was sent to the rest of the house by the residence head of Nemesia, so that they were notified about the issue and that they too can take action.”

He said Campus Security is a patrol and response service on campus. They do this in partnership with the local Police and Law Enforcement in town.

Another student living in a cluster convenor house experienced a similar incident on the 1st of May. Fanele Ndebele, a LLB student and Cluster Convenor for the amaMaties cluster, had his belongings stolen from his room.

“I was out to lunch with a friend in town. It was a long weekend and my house was relatively empty,” said Ndebele. According to the student, his room was not locked because the two doors leading into the house were locked.

When he came back to his room late evening his laptop, phone and bag (which had his textbooks) were missing.

“The perpetrator somehow managed to climb over the wall, as the spikes were flattened, and he stole the items as mentioned,” said Viljoen.

Ndebele said he did not report the incident to the South African Police Service (SAPS) saying: “I did not want to report it because exams were approaching and I did not want to feel stressed.”

Although he did not report it to the police, Campus Security was informed.

Ndebele decided not to pursue an investigation of his stolen goods. – Marsha Leitch, Tembisa Mguzulo and Nyakallo Moleko