Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Rhodes SRC calls for academic shutdown in honour of student’s death

The student representative council (SRC) at Rhodes University has announced it will protest for an academic shutdown on Monday morning in honour of a student who died over the weekend.

Khensani Maseko (23) is alleged to have ended her own life on Friday at her home in Johannesburg.

The SRC alleges Maseko had been raped in May, which led to her suicide. In an Instagram post on Friday, Maseko had posted her date of birth, 24.07.1995, and the current date of the post, 3.08.2018, with the caption: “No one deserves to be raped.”

August 3 was the date of her death.

The SRC has now called for an academic boycott at Rhodes to mark her death. In recent years, students at the university have been protesting against gender-based violence, which culminated in the #RUReferenceList protest in 2016, where a list of names of alleged rape accused was circulated around the university and social media.

Maseko’s family is yet to comment on her death or the circumstances that led to it, but the SRC has said her Instagram post is a “haunting suggestion” that her death was related to her “being a survivor of sexual assault.”

“The news of her death has been received with great shock and sadness by the entire student body. As such, the student body is experiencing deep levels of anger and grief,” the SRC said in a statement.

“In light of these solemn events, and in honour of her life, which was full of great promise and loved with commendable bravery, the SRC is launching a formal academic shutdown,” the student council said.

Students are expected gather at 9am and will then protest to shutdown the institution.

Maseko was an active member of the Rhodes student body, who had been elected to be on the SRC and had been voted Miss Varsity for the 2017/2018 year. She was also sat on the Rhodes Independent Electoral Board, and was a member of the Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command (EFFSC). She had been studying law at the time of her death.

Peter Keetse, EFFSC president, said the university has been engulfed in allegations of an existing rape culture on campus.

“We do have a delegation that we have put that side of the EC to speak to the university, not only about this incident but because knowing very well that there is this rape culture in that university,” Keetse told the SABC.

Maseko’s funeral will be held on Thursday, coinciding with Women’s Day.

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Raeesa Pather
Raeesa Pather
Ra’eesa Pather is a Cape Town-based general news and features journalist.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

DA’s egregious sexual harassment case finally begins

The party is accused of protecting a councillor, who’s also implicated in R1.2m graft

The ANC, DA and EFF ‘oblivious’ to climate crisis —...

The Climate Justice Charter Movement has critiqued the manifestos of the main parties contesting the local government elections and found them ‘shallow’

More top stories

Bird flu outbreak on Dyer Island causing mass deaths

The island hosts the vulnerable African penguins, endangered bank cormorant and roseate tern

Countries bear cross-border responsibility for harmful effects of climate change,...

The UN committee has been accused of ‘turning its back’ on the children who filed a groundbreaking legal complaint with it against five countries

Magashule files notice to have corruption charges dropped

Counsel for the suspended ANC secretary general tells court the former Free State premier falls outside category of who can be charged for corrupt activities

R1.5-billion in funding approved for riot-hit businesses

Agencies emphasise that speed is crucial to rescuing firms affected by July’s unrest
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×