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UCT's Anti-Gender-Based Violence Assembly Remembers Slain Students

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

The University of Cape Town (UCT) convened an Anti-Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Assembly in remembrance of students whose lives were tragically taken by violence. Names such as Zolile Khumalo, Khensani Maseko, Nosicelo Mtebeni, Jesse Hess, Xolile Mbatha, Precious Ramabulana, Ntokozo Xaba, Mandy Makola, Karabo Mokoena, and Uyinene Mrwetyana were honored, underscoring the severe reality of these atrocities.

The assembly, hosted by the UCT Student Representative Council in alliance with the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation (DHET), Higher Health, and the Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation, is part of ongoing initiatives to confront and mitigate the epidemic of gender-based violence within the Post-School Education and Training (PSET) sector.

Higher Health CEO Professor Ramneek Ahluwalia cited that a worrying 10% of recorded rapes in South Africa are reported from higher education institutions. Ahluwalia enumerated several practical interventions undertaken to alleviate the crisis, such as increased street lighting at heightened risk areas and routine monitoring of vulnerable locations.

The assembly pressed for more active collaboration with law enforcement and judicial bodies to ensure effective prosecution. Deputy Minister of DHET Buti Manamela reiterated the urgency of addressing the issue head-on rather than shrouding it in jargon or acronyms, linking effective actions to the transformation of human behavior.

The assembly highlighted the historical context of violence linking to colonial forces with today's gender-based violence. The recent surge in violence in educational establishments underscores the need for more comprehensive measures. Further, the assembly recognized the need for societal responsibility in ensuring student safety.

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