Rhodes students demand immunity over rape protests

Naledi Mashishi Rhodes SRC 2015: Activism and Transformation
Naledi Mashishi Rhodes SRC 2015: Activism and Transformation

No student protesting against rape culture shall face disciplinary action‚ Rhodes University’s Student Representative Council (SRC) demands in a video released on Thursday.

This comes at the height of protests that have erupted at the university over a soc-called rape culture.

The SRC accuses university management of not doing enough to curb the incidents of rape and sexual harassment plaguing the university.

Naledi Mashishi — SRC councillor for the activism and transformation portfolio‚ and other student organisations – said they formed chapter 2.12 to address the growing rape culture at the university.

 The student groups want to change the policies currently in place as they do not adequately deal with the problems students face.

 In the video‚ Mashishi says‚ amongst the list of demands‚ they want more staff members to be based in the university’s Harassment Office and a task force to be set up to look into the alleged rapes that have taken place in and around the university.

The protests erupted after a list of alleged rapists was circulated on social media late on Sunday evening.

This follows four days of protests across campus‚ including a large one on Tuesday afternoon‚ in which students were dancing topless to express their rights over their bodies.

In response to requests from students‚ a task force is being convened to help address holes in the policy on sexual assault on campus.

 Mashishi says although university management has addressed some of the issues‚ it have ignored a crucial one.

“No protester will face disciplinary action or be otherwise penalised for participating in the protests‚” Mashishi said.

According to Mashishi‚ five students were arrested and one hospitalised after police fired stun grenades and rubber bullets at the protesters.

Rhodes management has announced a full academic shutdown until April 25.

 Video footage was shared showing Vice-chancellor Dr Sizwe Mabizela asking police to stop their actions against the protesters‚ but police continue to shoot rubber bullets.

Rhodes SRC ?@RhodesSRC 4m4 minutes agoGrahamstown‚ South Africa

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