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‘Our society has failed Khensani‚’ says Rhodes VC at moving funeral

Rhodes University student Khensani Maseko committed suicide at home in Johannesburg this weekend after being raped in May
Rhodes University student Khensani Maseko committed suicide at home in Johannesburg this weekend after being raped in May
Image: Instagram

In moving tributes‚ Khensani Maseko's friends‚ fellow students and the Rhodes University vice-chancellor praised her as an "incredible" leader and selfless human being.

"When I found out she was running for presidency [of the Student Representative Council]‚ I was afraid. Khensani would come into the room and capture it with her aura. We looked up to Khensani‚” said Rhodes University SRC member Nhlakanipho Mahlangu.

She said she and Maseko were‚ at this time last year‚ running against each other for the SRC presidency at Rhodes.

"We need to change this country‚ this world‚ because it cannot be that when a parent gives birth to a girl child they must simultaneously prepare for her death. This is not fair‚ this is not right‚" Mahlangu's said.

"You have done enough. You have raised her. She led us. Be proud of your daughter. She is not lying here because she was weak. She was a strong woman‚" Mahlangu said to Maseko's family.

"You raised an incredible leader‚ graceful in all her ways."

Dr Sizwe Mabusela‚ Rhodes University's vice-chancellor‚ said to the Maseko family: "Your loss is our loss. This darkness night will give light to a new day. When the news of her passing was communicated there was a deep sense of shock.”

Mabusela described Maseko as ever so self-assured” and “comfortable in her own skin”

“Our society has failed Khensani like it has failed many Khensani's‚” he said.

Mabusela said society must pay attention to how it raised and socialised boy children.

"We must recognise that the majority of sexual assault cases are committed by those who profess to love victims of sexual assault.

"We must confront beliefs and myths that perpetuate gender-based violence. We must stop it before it happens.

"It is my responsibility‚ your responsibility‚ to confront and eliminate gender-based violence in our society. I request parents to have open and honest conversations about relationships and how they should be conducted with their children‚ Mabizela said.

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