Ané van Zyl
A female student made a case of assault at the SAPS after being kicked and slapped by a homeless woman on the Rooiplein.
SAPS confirms the beggar kicked the student in the head, and attempted to steal her cell phone.
According to eye witnesses, the attack was unprovoked. The victim did not interact with the beggar, but other students on the grass handed her food and cigarettes.
Eye witness Seo-ho Yoo intervened by grabbing the cell phone and stopping the attack.
The victim and her friends left the scene while Yoo and other bystanders held on to the beggar and called campus security.
“She was mumbling and her talking wasn’t making sense,” said Yoo.
Officers of campus security arrived about ten minutes later.
“The woman was apprehended by campus security and members of G4S, and taken to the campus security office,” said university spokesperson Martin Viljoen.
“The woman showed signs of Psychosis. She undressed herself and caused damage to campus security property.”
Viljoen added that the SAPS was contacted to arrest the woman. He said that police officers took her away, but released her an hour or two later.
Later that same day the woman was found naked in a lecture hall in the industrial psychology building. Viljoen confirmed that the door of the industrial psychology building was open at the time.
Video material of G4S officials removing the woman from the economics class circulated on social media. In the video the woman seemed distraught, yelling “help me” while officials carried her out of the venue.
According to eye witness Johann Harzon the woman entered the hall completely naked and “began to use the room’s furniture to stretch”.
“She ran up the stairs, meters away from where I was sitting, and began climbing on the chairs on the back row. It left me shaken for the rest of the day,” said Harzon.
Members of the G4S task-team removed the woman from the venue.
SAPS later confirmed that the lady was a regular patient at Stellenbosch Hospital where she receives treatment, and she was taken there for attention.
According to Viljoen, the campus is too large for security officers to be present at all incidences.
“It would be ideal for officers to react to crisis situations immediately, but because campus is so big, they can’t be everywhere at once.”
He further stated that the victim was supported by campus security personnel after the incident, and was called later that afternoon to inquire about her wellbeing.
She was also offered crisis and trauma counselling after the incident.