'Men's meeting' held after Rhodes anti-rape protests

2016-04-20 13:11

WATCH: Rhodes students boycott classes over rape culture

2016-04-19 17:00

Students boycott classes on Tuesday over campus rape culture.WATCH

UPDATE: 13:23 - Eastern Cape police have released a statement relating to Wednesday's protests.

Police responded to the protest at around 07:30, Captain Mali Govender said.

“The roads were blocked off using furniture, brooms, sticks and stones. Following warnings by the Saps to disperse, the crowd did not adhere to the instructions.”

Govender said the police then used pepper spray in an attempt to disperse the crowd, without success.

Police started using rubber bullets and stun grenades after it was perceived that the gathering was becoming “aggressive”.

Five suspects, two of which are women, were arrested and face charges relating to the Gatherings Act.

“They will appear in the Grahamstown Magistrates court shortly,” Govender concluded.

UPDATE 13:06 - A meeting is currently under way with men at the university in which they're discussing the topic of rape culture and what it means. Activist Malaika Mahlatsi is addressing them. "Men are important in this conversation because women don't rape themselves," it has been said at the meeting.

UPDATE 11:28 - Students have headed to the police station after collecting bail money for their arrested comrades, Rhodes students Zindzi and Zintle Nkunzi have told News24. Photos below are also from the Nkunzis.

All academic activities at Rhodes University were suspended on Wednesday amid ongoing protests over sexual violence at the institution.

- Are you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

At least three people have been arrested, with student newspaper Activate saying that as many as six people might have been taken into custody by police.

Bail has been set at R500 each.

University Vice Chancellor Sizwe Mabizela was said to be at the Joza police station where the students were being held and was pleading with police to release the group.

A video uploaded to YouTube by an Eyewitness News contributor showed Mabizela pleading with police to let three arrested students go, after one suffered a panic attack while at the back of a police van.

Some of the university’s dining hall staff later joined the students in their protest, another student newspaper Oppidan Press reported.

Students claimed in various videos that fellow students had been shot with rubber bullets, while others were pepper sprayed. Pleas have gone out for supporters to provide milk to help those who had been teargassed.

Read more on:    rhodes university  |  east london  |  protests  |  university protests

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