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University speaks out after death of rape victim

R.I.P: Khensani Maseko (Photo credit: Instagram)

RHODES UNIVERSITY students and staff swarmed the streets on Tuesday (August 8) to commemorate the life of Khensani Maseko, who was described as a brave, fearless and ambitious student leader.

The third-year student took her own life last week just a few days after reporting to the university that she had been raped at the institution in May.

The marchers sang songs of mourning as they walked to The Monument, where Maseko would have graduated at the end of her degree but for her premature death.

The 23-year-old student leader, who was also an active member of the EFF Student Command (EFFSC), was described as a fighter. Rhodes vice chancellor, Sizwe Mabizela said: “that society had failed Maseko and many like her.”

“Khensani did not deserve to die under the circumstances she did,” said Mabizela.“We as a society have failed her in that we have not brought up young men who know how to love, respect and treat women.”

She continued: “For every male who came through my office, I apologise for not speaking to you about consent. For every female, I apologise for not listening (more carefully) to you.”

The university closed its doors on Monday and Tuesday to mourn Maseko’s death. It ran an alternative education and awareness programme on sexual and gender-based violence.

Mabizela announced this week that the university had set in motion the process to suspend Maseko’s alleged rapist.

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