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Yesterday, parts of the small town of Dikeni (Alice) was brought to a halt as Fort Hare student embarked on a peaceful march against the scourge of gender-based violence (GBV).
This follows an incident where three female students were attacked on their way from town to campus, resulting in the murder of one female student, and the hospitalisation of another following an incident of rape.
Clad in black to mourn the loss of one of their own, the students marched from the Alice campus to the local police station in Raymond Mhlaba Local Municipality where they handed over a memorandum of demands to the station commander and the Mayor, Nomhle Sango.
Leading from the front line was Dr. Rianna Oelofsen from the UFH Gender-Based Violence Prevention Unit; Dr Bellita Banda Chitsamatanga, researcher: SARCHI chair in Sexualities Genders and Queer Studies; Mzi Lingela, students residence manager; SRC President, Ms Siphokazi Mbalo; head of security Mr Shikombiso Nyambi and; Mr Dzulani Munzhelele who is Students Development Office.
Among the students’ demands to the South African Police Services is 24/7 visibility patrol; a 24/7 surveillance camera system between the University and Alice town; a satellite police station near campus to operate at night.
To the Mayor, the students demanded the installation and replacement of streetlights; the cutting of trees and the weed along the route; the establishment of a 24/7 rape centre that is fully functional; and for the municipality to intensify awareness campaigns against GBV.