The female students at Tshwane University of Technology’s Soshanguve campus, marching to the police station
Female students at Tshwane University of Technology’s Soshanguve campus in South Africa on Sept 4, held a march against the brutal killings and rapes of women in their school, an epidemic of ‘femicide’ sweeping the nation.
Spurred by the rape and brutal killings of two female students in the past two weeks, the students marched topless to the Soshanguve Police Station, stating that they didn’t feel safe in the area or anywhere else in the country.
According to the protest leader Twinky Nxumalo, they want the authorities to ensure their security and welfare.
‘We’ve decided to march topless to provoke rapists. “We want them to see us, because even if we are topless that mustn’t make them force themselves on us,”’ – Protest leader Twinky Nxumalo
Led by march convener and Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania provincial leader, Twinky Nxumalo, the students marched to the Soshanguve police station.
The SA Students Congress, Democratic Alliance Student Organization, SA Democratic Students Movement and Student Christian Organization joined the march.
The students, some in black to symbolize mourning, others bare-breasted while others wore only bras, filled roads surrounding the campus singing songs that asked men to stop violating them.
Nxumalo revealed that a week earlier, the African Women’s Organisation at TUT Soshanguve campus invited her to speak at a Women’s Month event. She used the platform to query the relevance of the commemoration while women were still being raped and killed [all over the country].
“Comrades told me that their daughters were raped at the south campus that and that another student had committed suicide after she was assaulted,” said Nxumalo.
Nxumalo said two days later she was informed that another two female students at the school had been raped.
“The victim told me that three robbers were angry because she had nothing of value other than her phone, repeatedly raped her then forced her to knock on the door of another female student, whom they also raped”.
Local police acknowledged that a case of robbery and rape has been opened: “We are continuing with the investigation. So far, no arrests have been made,” a police spokesperson said.
The TUT students bravely marched to Soshanguve police station and the streets surrounding their campus to demand protection an the speedy prosecution of rape cases that are currently open.
“Two students were raped in their rooms outside campus last Thursday and their landlady couldn’t help them. We are not happy and want to be heard.”
She said they handed over a memorandum to the police.
“We demand them to patrol where students live so these type of things don’t happen.
“We expect landlords to make sure we live in safe places,” she said.
Twinky said they decided to march topless to provoke rapists. “We want them to see us, because even if we are topless that mustn’t make them force themselves on us.”
“We’ve had enough. Women have been silent and it’s time to solve this,” another protester, Lerato Marang said.
TUT students marched to Soshanguve police station and the streets surrounding their campus to demand protection an the speedy conclusion of open rape cases in the school
“We’ve had enough. Women have been silent and it’s time to solve this,” protesters said
The students who also called for the prosecution of a local landlord who has a record of raping female students who rented his property
The female students marched on to a private student accommodation, that has been labeled as a rape den to demand protection from the landlord.
She said they wanted the death penalty back.