PHOTOS | Buti Manamela takes on Comrades Marathon

Buti Manamela has joined thousands of enthusiastic international and local runners at this year’s Comrades Marathon.

The deputy minister of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) is an avid runner who has already ran the Two Oceans Marathon.

He is running the Comrades Marathon to draw attention to  gender-based violence particularly at institutions of higher learning.

Manamela said preparing for the Comrades Marathon has changed the way he sees life.

“There are no short cuts and success comes from patience. Endurance is the result of long hours of arduous training. I developed level of patience I never knew I have. I valued solidarity and that I cannot go further alone,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

Minister of DHET Naleid Pandor said she doesn’t doubt that Manamela will finish the race as he is, generally, a focused young man.

“In the three months I have worked with him, he has proven himself to also be a hard worker. My simple wish is that he is able to draw as much attention as possible to the cause he is running for which is the fight against gender-based violence in our schools” Pandor said.

The department has proposed a policy framework that will address gender-based violence at universities and colleges.

Higher Education and Training HIV/AIDs (HEAids) the department’s agency for HIV, TB, STIs and related health and wellness programmes was tasked with the development of the framework.

The department has embarked on extensive consultations with various parties and will soon be adopting a policy which will be the first ever framework for addressing gender-based violence at universities and colleges.

The agency’s CEO DR Ramneek Ahluwalia said gender-based forms of violence interfere with student studies and careers.

“The framework includes an oversight function that empowers the DHET to hold to account officials who neglect cases. Gender-based violence also corrupts the integrity of the education system and undermines the development of knowledge and erode constitutional rights to equality, dignity and freedom from all forms of violence. Institutions of higher learning do not have to wait for the state to institute criminal proceedings against perpetrators. They have the power and the responsibility to impose civil sanctions,” Adluwalia said.