A University of Pretoria student was harassed on Wednesday 7 October while making her way to the university. Lelanie De Kock (24) was walking along South Street towards Duncan when a young man approached her and asked for directions to Brooklyn. Before she could answer, the man pulled out a knife and demanded her cell phone.

De Kock lied and said that she did not have her phone with her. Then she told the mugger to “f**k off!” After receiving such unexpected resistance, the mugger “didn’t know what to do”. This allowed De Kock enough time to hail a passing bakkie and drive away.

De Kock is currently studying audiology and is also the SRC member for Marketing and External Projects. Upon reaching the university safely she “told everyone at Tukkiewerf” what had happened. She also phoned her fiancé and her father to tell them about the incident.

“My dad was very proud of me,” said De Kock. “He was in the police force, and he always told me to be on the offensive.”

De Kock, whose parents live in the Free State, has not yet told her mother about the incident. “I don’t want her to worry about this, since I stay so far away.”

“I just thank God for protecting me” said De Kock. The incident left her a bit shaken but she feels that it will not affect her too much.

The Director of Security Services at the university, Mr Colin Fouché, said that it is the priority of the Security Services to protect the student community. “It is important for us to make students more streetwise and to empower them by means of information.”

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