#RUReference List: 10 voices you need hear

Instagram @ruphotosoc
Instagram @ruphotosoc
For days, images of half-naked female bodies forming a human barricade and women in a mass formation holding placards, shouting at policemen/woman and lecturers and even getting arrested in the streets of Grahamstown have been all over the internet and social media feeds.

Rhodes University students launched a Chapter 212 campaign challenging university systems and processes that students feel are failing their rape victims.  They’re calling the institution out for its poor handling and, frankly, ‘inadequate’ and ‘ineffective’ of rape reports and rape victims. The campaign is demanding that universities address and improve sexual assault policies.

See list of demands here.

This entire female dominated movement has been best described in a tweet by Sivu Siwisa: “Little by little, day by day women are finding their strength and speaking out in ways that inspire us to be brave.”

Here are some of the voices from the protest that need to be heard:

1.       Naledi Mashishi

A sexual assault victim herself, Naledi has become a Rhodes Student Representative Council member and, as such, has spoken out to a number of news sources, including Eyewitness News about the SRC’s commitment to transforming universities’ sexual assault policies.

She’s also written a number of blog posts on South African politics and in the video below she can be seen standing amongst other students in protesting action:


2.       Elisabet le Roux – a senior researcher in Stellenbosch university

Elisabet recently spoke out on eNCA in support of the students. Speaking to Dan Moyane, she admits feeling that there is failure in the South African justice system and that victims are not receiving justice. She also calls on university management to commit to do more on the rape culture on campuses.

3.       Jessica Hogge – yes, I am afraid of the lost academic time, but I am more afraid of the pervasive ideology of rape culture.

A ‘letter to management’ was recently published in Activate, a student news source, in which Jessica Hogge writes that the problem is those in management hide behind their titles. She says that before they assume the title of dean, chancellor, administrator, they are human first. “Before you are even a man or a womxn, you are a human,” she writes.

Many have also take their voice to social media:

“Is the rape culture that hectic that women need to be locked away?” In this video, men chat about the urgent need to change men’s attitude towards woman and sex:

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