A two-day mourning period has been declared at the Rhodes University in the Eastern Cape after a student who was allegedly raped on campus reportedly took her own life in her Johannesburg home over the weekend.
Khensani Maseko was allegedly raped in May 2018.
The management and the Student Representative Council have met to plot the way forward, as allegations of similar cases were reported over the past three years.
Maseko was allegedly raped by her boyfriend, who was also a student at the institution.
She reportedly took her own life this weekend.
After countless protests, rallies and awareness, students feel hopeless and unsafe.
“I am not safe. The streets are dark. I don’t see security. The university hasn’t taken any visible measures,” says one of the students.
Another student says, “Khensani was one of us. She was loved and I can’t believe she’s gone. This needs to stop.”
Maseko’s death has been trending on social media. She was a student activist who cared about the needs of her fellow students.
SRC President Nhlakanipho Mahlangu says they are not aware of a case that was opened by Maseko, but they are hoping that everyone can have closure soon.
Rhodes Spokesperson, Luzuko Jacobs says counselling services will be made available for those in need of such services.
He says the mourning period, starting on Monday this week, is not a shutdown but a period of reflection.
The institution has been communicating with Khensani’s family since the incident was reported. The family has requested that the university keeps all media and the general public at bay, and to respect them during this difficult time.
All academic activities have been suspended and flags will also fly at half-mast until her burial.
A memorial service will be held in her honour at the Settlers’ Monument on Tuesday.