South Africa : university students up in arms over on-campus rape incidents

Academic activities at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth were suspended on August 6 2018, following allegations that a female student had been raped on campus at the weekend. ©Photo: RR

Johannesburg (ADV) – As Rhodes University grapple the death of rape victim Khensani Maseko‚ students at the nearby Nelson Mandela University in the Eastern Cape province have forced a suspension of lectures following the rape of a student over the weekend.

The Student Representative Council (SRC) at Rhodes on Monday led an “academic shutdown” on campus following reports that Maseko had committed suicide after she had been raped.

“The news of her passing has been received with great shock and sadness by the entire student body. As such‚ the student body is experiencing deep levels of grief and anger. In light of these events and in honour of her life‚ the SRC is launching a formal academic shutdown‚” said the SRC.

Rhodes University Student Khensani MasekoTwitter

An alleged rape of a student by a fellow student at the Nelson Mandela University (NMU) in Port Elizabeth at the weekend resulted in a campus shutdown on Monday‚ as students demanded increased security.

“Classes and shuttle services temporarily postponed on all PE campuses due to protest action at North & South campus entrances early today‚” the university said in a statement on social media.

It said it was looking into the incident. “A criminal charge was opened against the alleged perpetrator‚ who is also a student‚ with the South African Police Service.” The university is gathering all the necessary information to pursue concurrent internal disciplinary action‚” it said.

“We assure the university community that this‚ as well as other pending matters‚ is receiving the attention it deserves and urge you to allow due process to take its course‚” it said.

Maseko’s funeral will take place on Thursday to coincide with National Women’s day.

Bur-csa – Nomsa Mdhluli – ADV