Commission for Gender Equality seeks talks with TUT on campus residence safety after killing of Ntokozo Xaba
The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) wants to meet Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) management after the death of Ntokozo Xaba at a university residence.
This as the minister of higher education and training announced the launch of an initiative to tackle gender-based violence (GBV).
Xaba, 21, was stabbed to death at Ekhaya Junction campus residence on Thursday.
According to police, Xaba was allegedly drinking with friends, including her ex-boyfriend Ngcebo Thusi on Wednesday.
The friends allegedly left the two together, said police spokesperson Col Dimakatso Sello.
Thusi appeared in court on Monday on charges of murder and defeating the ends of justice.
The CGE on Monday said it was “saddened by this senseless killing” and confirmed it would consult the university’s leadership.
“In the past three years, the CGE has conducted investigations to assess gender transformation and GBV at universities and technical and vocational education and training [TVET] colleges to ascertain the safety of women on campuses and residences.
“More than 15 vice-chancellors appeared before the commission to help it understand gender-related problems at their institutions.
“One of the numerous recommendations we made was for the department of higher education and training to institute policies and procedures to deal with gender-based violence at institutions of higher learning,” the organisation said.
CGE CEO Phelisa Nkomo added: “We implore the criminal justice system to speedily process GBV-related cases, deny perpetrators bail and ensure a high number of convictions.”
Higher education minister Blade Nzimande offered condolences to Xaba's family and TUT. He had “directed higher health to join in efforts with TUT's wellness team to provide the necessary psychosocial support to the family”.
“This issue is not only devastating for survivors of violence and their families but also entails significant social and economic costs and has dire implication to the post-school education and training [PSET] sector,” said Nzimande.
“As part of dealing with gender-based violence in our institutions, I will be launching the ‘Transforming MENtalities' initiative, which will be a multi-stakeholder partnership within the PSET [sector], with a particular focus on mobilising men to be part of championing a world free of gender biases, stereotypes, violence and discrimination.”
The case against Thusi was postponed to February 13 for the state to confirm his address and profile before bail proceedings.
Memorial to be held on Thursday
TUT spokesperson Phaphama Tshisikhawe confirmed the university would hold a memorial service on Thursday at the Soshanguve south campus student centre.
“The TUT community is in mourning. Our students are inconsolable, and staff members are grieving. On behalf of the council of the university and the university community we send our deepest condolences to the Xaba family,” TUT vice-chancellor Prof Tinyiko Maluleke said.
Maluleke announced “an institutionwide week of mourning for Xaba”.
“As a public display of mourning, the TUT flag will fly half-mast at all campuses until the end of the week.”
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