March breaks silence

2017-05-10 06:00
Staff and students of the Sol Plaatje University take a stand against abuse on Thursday (04/05). Vice chancellor, Prof. Yunus Ballim, lead the march.Photo: Boipelo Mere

Staff and students of the Sol Plaatje University take a stand against abuse on Thursday (04/05). Vice chancellor, Prof. Yunus Ballim, lead the march.Photo: Boipelo Mere

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In taking a stand against the abuse of women and children, the staff and students of the Sol Plaatje University (SPU) marched through the streets of the Kimberley Central Business District to make their voice heard on Thursday (04/05).

They deemed it necessary to express their deep concern following an incident in which a child’s half-naked body was discovered by children attending daycare at the Percival Jas community hall in Galeshewe on Tuesday, 25 April.

The vice chancellor of the SPU, Prof. Yunus Ballim saw the march as a success, regardless of the disappointing turnout of male students.

He said the march was to express the university’s sympathy with regard to the hurt the society was going through. The SPU has undertaken to uphold continuous conversation through public lectures, engagement and activities to make its voice heard.

“The way in which we recognise and treat our children in our communities is completely unacceptable. We have to nurture our children and care for them rather than hurt them, which is really the point of the march,” said Ballim.

According to the deputy president of the SPU’s student representative council (SRC), Tshepiso Tshipe, it was time for institutions to break the silence about incidents of abuse.

Tshipe said the march was just a stepping stone in the fight for a safer and better society to live in.

“Keeping quiet is just the cruellest thing that we can do when it comes to supporting victims. Continuous dialogue should be held to address the issues to show that we stand firmly against abuse,” said Tshipe.

B.Ed student Neo Letsholo, who participated in the march, encouraged the youth to take a stand in protecting women and children in society.

“They should keep it up and not lose hope that things will get better in time,” Letsholo said.

Psychology student Thaaniyah Kleinsmith said she believed human rights were something that really mattered in society.

“We need to start pushing for that at a young age in order to build a safer and better society for all, incuding the next generation,” Kleinsmith said.

Emphasising the gravity of the issue, and in advocacy of their message, the banners and posters the staff and students of the SPU carried during the march will remain put up on campus for the next week.

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