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image A block at the University of Swaziland, Kwaluseni Campus.

MBABANE – UNISWA Assistant Registrar Sandile Hlophe has been charged with alleged sexual abuse of female students.
UNISWA is the acronym for University of Swaziland.

Hlophe, who is based in the IT Department, is alleged to have started sexually abusing the female students within the learning institution, Kwaluseni Campus, since 2013.

After intense investigations the leadership of the learning institution slapped Hlophe with three charges of sexual harassment
This, after some of the female students came out of the closet to report how they were allegedly sexually abused by the assistant registrar.

In their different statements, they alleged that when they required services from Hlophe’s  department, he would make sexual advances.
Hlophe would allegedly ask for hugs, kisses and sometimes show the students his private parts. These are allegations contained in the reports submitted by the affected female students to the management of the university, whose veracity is still to be tested.

Hlophe is due to be taken for a disciplinary hearing after being formally charged.
In a detailed report, one of the students alleged that Hlophe started sexually abusing her since 2013.  The names of the students will not be disclosed due to the sensitivity of the matter.

The student narrated that it was during the second semester examinations period when she forgot her exam card. She said she then went to Hlophe’s office for help.

“Before he provided a new card for me, he ordered me to kiss him and I refused. The door was locked, he delayed offering me the service I was asking, for, but after some time he assisted me and opened the door. He did not receive the kiss as demanded from me,” alleged the student.


According to the student, she reported the incident during the faculty meeting and she was assured that something was to be done to stop the harassment.
The student, who is a faculty representative, mentioned that because other students were still reporting the continued alleged harassment to her, she felt it was important to make it formal.

She pointed out that she was not sure what transpired in previous years before she came.
“There are many other victims of harassment but they fear victimisation, only three students agreed to sign since they were also victims,” she stated.

She alleged that some of the females students now asked their friends to accompany them every time they needed assistance from Hlophe’s office because they feared that they would be victims. These are allegations whose veracity is yet to be tested.
Another student alleged that she encountered problems when registering for her first year at UNISWA, since she was on the third list in that academic year.  The list allegedly came late.
She mentioned that she went to Hlophe’s office and explained everything to him and he allegedly asked her where she stayed.  In response, the student told him that she resided at Ngwane Park, Manzini.
Hlophe is said to have in turn told the student that he also resided at Ngwane Park.
“Afterwards, he asked me to hug him and I did like anyone in my situation could have done. He squeezed me and said the way I am so tiny I remind him of his wife, and that his wife was also tiny like me,” alleged the student.
She alleged that Hlophe then slipped his hands down to her bums and started touching them and that was when she pulled back.
Hlophe is alleged to have then asked the student if she was busy for the rest of that day and she allegedly told him that she had to attend classes until 4pm. “He said he also knocked-off at 4pm, and that I should come back to his office and I agreed to that and left, but did not come back because I could not look at him the same way after that incident,” alleged the student.
Another student also claimed to have been scared to tell anyone about her experience with Hlophe.
Narrating her ordeal, allegedly in the hands of Hlophe, the student stated that in January 2017, she came to the university to get her first semester results.
She said the secretary of the Social Science Faculty was not in her office, so the tutor directed her to the Academic Office because that was where the Credit System results were kept.
She claimed that when she got into Hlophe’s office he showed her a copy of the results on his computer screen.
 According to the student, Hlophe allegedly started fondling her inappropriately and claimed that he was congratulating her on her results.
“I was scared to tell anyone and only found the courage to talk about it after I heard the faculty representative talking about it on our WhatsApp group,” alleged the affected student.
In conclusion, she mentioned that she hoped the management of the learning institution would address the matter as soon as possible to help other female students who had been in the same situation.

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