Task team established to deal with rape after Rhodes students run riot

APRIL 19, 2016

Rhodes University Vice Chancellor, Professor Sizwe Mabizela, speaking on SAFM's Morning Live radio show on Tuesday morning said that the institution had established a task team to deal with rape and sexual violence at the university.

Prof Mabizela said that while it's very difficult to talk about issues of rape, one rape is just one too many adding that when they are given infomartion on rape, they act. 

His response comes a day after hundreds of Rhodes University students went on the rampage searching out residences for listed on alleged rapist list that emerged at the institution. Nobody at this point knows, who compiled the so-called rapist "reference list", which has the names of 11 male students or who shared it on social media.

Tensions had been growing since Sunday night when a group of students delivered a list of demands to the university’s management to deal with sexual violence at the institution, accompanied by the list, which trended on Twitter as #RUReferenceList for most of Monday morning. 

On Monday, two students, who appeared on the list, were reportedly held by the protesting students and lectures were disrupted.

The students, led by the Student Representative Council (SRC), also called for a review of the university’s sexual assault policy adding that staff also needed sensitivity training. They also called for rape charges to be included in the alleged perpetrators’ academic records. 

Despite a list with 11 names, Grahamstown police said only one rape case had been reported on Monday and encouraged victims to come forward. 

Meanwhile, the university said it expected normal academic programmes and administrative operations to resume on Tuesday.

Image: Courtesy of Amy Pieterse @AmyPieterse21 via Twitter.