Rhodes students to attend public hearings on gender violence

Students gathered in front of Rhodes University
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Rhodes University student leaders are to be invited to attend public hearings on gender violence and the Domestic Violence Act, due to be hosted by Parliament’s Police Committee near the end of August.

Committee chairperson Francois Beukman says the death of the university’s 23-year-old law student Khensani Maseko is a wake-up call to the nation to deal with what he terms institutional inertia and lack of action by the relevant authorities.

Maseko reportedly took her own life after allegedly being raped by her boyfriend and was laid to rest on Women’s Day on Thursday.

Beukman says it’s essential that the Rhodes student leadership and related student role-players attend the hearings.

The committee believes that law enforcement agencies and government departments should step up their efforts to combat gender violence.

Earlier Minister of Women Bathabile Dlamini called on institutions of higher learning to develop policies to protect and support female students on campus.

Dlamini said she is disappointed that Rhodes University failed to notice that Maseko was going through a tough time, until she took her own life.