The remains of the “closet”.
(Pic: Richard Atkinson)

A “closet” displayed on the University of Cape Town (UCT) campus as part of a gay student group’s Pink Week Campaign has been set alight and severely damaged.

Erected by Rainbow UCT on Jammie Plaza, the closet had been on display for less than twelve hours before it was vandalised late on Monday night.

“…the closet was used to celebrate the country’s achievements in advancing civil rights for homosexuals and highlights the human rights violations that still plague our society,” said Dylan Van Vuuren, RainbowUCT Chairperson.

“The closet was positioned allowing students and staff members to graffiti the outside with their own responses and views.”

The Pink Week Campaign, held from 4 to 8 October, is an initiative to promote LGBTI rights and highlight homoprejudice.

Van Vuuren said that the organisation was deeply concerned about the incident and called for the University to launch an immediate investigation.

“We request that University Management including Campus Protection Services acknowledges that this is a hate crime and an indication of a larger problem found within the UCT community and broader South African society which needs to be addressed,” he said.

It is believed that the perpetrators may have been videotaped by the campus security surveillance system.

“Rainbow UCT wishes to stress that this incident will not dampen our spirits and Pink Week will continue to take place for the duration of the week,” Van Vuuren added.

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