University of Cape Town (UCT) Vice-Chancellor, Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng, has announced the establishment of the Uyinene Mrwetyana Scholarship for women in Humanities studies.
Phakeng had been addressing hundreds of mourners paying their last respects at Mrwetyana’s funeral, at the Abbotsford Christian Centre in East London.
Phakeng says South Africans should work together to end the scourge of gender-based violence.
“In the past few months, we’ve been left reeling in a wake of abuse and gender-based violence. It’s of little wonder there’s been a call for a state of emergency, we are living in an emergency where young women cannot visit a post office and expect to be safe. We are not about to raise a white flag on gender-based violence and ignore femicide as a crime against humanity and we are not about to ignore the insidious intergenerational effect on gender-based violence,” says Phakeng.
Phakeng has described Mrwetyana as gifted, bold and an intellectual. She says the time has come to march to the Union Buildings again as the women did during the Apartheid era.
“Nene has been robbed, we all have been robbed. Horror, disgust, hopelessness, despair – there are many words that described how we are feeling as a community. It’s difficult to lose a child, but it’s much more difficult to lose a child in this way, for me I have lost a daughter. And I ask you today, has a time come for women to march on the Union Buildings again like our mothers and great-grandmothers did against an unjust system and against this form of brutalising and deadly oppression,” says Phakeng.