Khensani Maseko: Family and friends bid farewell to a 'shining star'

2018-08-09 14:15
Khensani Maseko (Image via Twitter)

Khensani Maseko (Image via Twitter)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Video

WRAP: Students mourn the death of one of their own, Khensani Maseko

2018-08-08 19:37

The tragic death of Rhodes student Khensani Maseko has devastated the nation during National Women's Month. The suicide of the 23-year-old has sparked outrage and heartache over sexual violence affecting women in South Africa. Watch.WATCH

While the country was celebrating Women's Day on Thursday, a grieving mother described her pain after losing her 23-year-old daughter, Rhodes student Khensani Maseko.

Maseko was laid to rest on Thursday.

It is suspected that Maseko took her own life on Friday after battling depression. She was raped, allegedly by her boyfriend, in May.

Prior to her death, Maseko took to Instagram, posting "No one deserves to be raped" along with the date of her birth and the day of the post – which was the same day she died.

Rhodes University announced on Monday that the alleged perpetrator had been suspended and the institution was working with the police as well as the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). It was calling for an inquest into Maseko's death.

In a moving "Message from Mama" read out by relative Sandiso Maseko, Maseko's mother recalled the fond memories she had of her daughter – from her first day of school to her university days, where she exceeded all expectations.

'I don't know how I'm going to carry on'

"I was so thankful for God for you. I named you Nkanyezi because I believed you were going to be a shining star and truly you became a shining star," Sandiso Maseko read.

Mourners gathered at the Nasrec Memorial Cemetery in Johannesburg where she was laid to rest. In attendance, among others, was Minister of Police Bheki Cele, Rhodes University vice-chancellor Sizwe Mabizela, and university student leaders.

They sang gospel songs while some in attendance sobbed uncontrollably. The podium was decorated with flowers where speakers took to the platform one by one. A picture of Maseko was also on display.

Her mother said she was an example to many in her family and community.

"I want to thank God for the memories we shared. I don't know how I am going to carry on without you, but I trust God to help me through this tough, confusing time in my life."

Mabizela said Maseko's story had again raised issues of "anger and frustration" related to "women oppression".

"Her death must force us to pause and reflect deeply on the society that we have become. Men need to be taught how to interact with people, and with women, in a loving, caring and respectful way," Mabizela said.

Cele called for a new society where women could be free.

One of 'our very own'

Gauteng EFF student leader Mandisa Mashego spoke strongly, laying the blame squarely at the door of Rhodes University, saying it was sad that they had come together on Women's Day to bid farewell to "our very own".

Mashego said they would never forgive the institution for "taking away Khensani".

She also called on Cele to open satellite police stations on campuses.

"We are here to send a revolutionary send-off to one of our soldiers. We addressed her as the people's president, because whenever people encountered a problem, they would easily approach Khensani," president of the EFF student command Peter Keetse said.

Keetse recalled the #FeesMustFall movement, saying it happened under soldiers like Khensani.

"Many thought it could never be done, but it was something that was a reality."

Keetse called on universities to offer better support to students who had suffered from depression.

"This should be the last incident, it must come to an end. We are deeply saddened by the passing of our own," he said.

Read more on:    khensani maseko  |  johannesburg  |  rape  |  suicide  |  depression

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.