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Rhodes University (RU) Rhodes University has been marred by protests over the recurring sexual assault of students and rape culture at the university. Protests resulted in the temporary suspension of lectures.
The SRC of RU released a list of alleged sexual offenders, known as the #RUReferenceList, that followed a week-long campaign against rape and a call for the university to change its sexual harassment policy. According to SABC News, RU Vice-Chancellor Prof. Sizwe Mabizela urged students who felt their rights were violated to come forth. However, he said, “The university must protect the Constitutional rights of the alleged perpetrators named on the reference list circulating on campus.” According to EWN, there have been 22 reported sexual assaults this year alone.
University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) Students at Wits held a demonstration against rape culture in solidarity with the anti-rape campaign at RU. The demonstration took place at the Great Hall on the Braamfontein campus. The conversation was centred on rape culture and how assaults should be dealt with. Numerous women took a firm stand against rape, with some toplesss and others with sjamboks in their hands. The Wits SRC president had earlier addressed the crowd and spoke about the patriarchy that prevails within leadership structures. Survivors of rape or sexual assault were urged by the university’s gender equality office to visit facilities that deal with trauma.
University of the Free State (UFS) According to EWN, UFS Vice-Chancellor Prof. Jonathan Jansen “is on a mission to raise R100l[million] in bursaries for 1000 students”. In light of last year’s protests against extreme tuition hikes, the university sought to double its efforts in raising funds. Prof. Jansen told News24 that the university has embarked on a student fund campaign where he will go around the country and some parts of the world to let people know that the future of the youth, and therefore South Africa’s economy, is at stake. Prof. Jansen also said that the university has already raised a substantial amount of funds from the staff and the UFS alumni.