Rhodes students call for strong action against alleged sexual offenders
The university says it’s been engaging with the SRC after a list of alleged sexual offenders was published.
JOHANNESBURG - Rhodes University says it has been engaging with its Students Representative Council (SRC) to resolve protests after a list of alleged sexual offenders was recently published.
Demonstrators barricaded a university entrance yesterday, saying management has failed to meet a list of demands, one of which includes the removal of an SRC member who's been accused of sexually assaulting a woman on campus.
The group is now calling for some form of action to be taken against the alleged perpetrators.
Student activist Gorata Chengeta says, "What's going to happen to people who are already being aggrieved? The sentiment that I'm getting from people is that we can't really move forward because we don't feel like management has really taken into account the gravity of the situation."
Some students have expressed concern that rape culture exists at the institution.
Meanwhile, professor Wim de Villiers says disrespectful behaviour towards females is a South African societal problem.
"Rape culture is an issue we deal with as a nation, as a country. It's also internationally something that we see more and more on campuses."
At the same time, Rhodes University has set up a task team to investigate sexual violence on campus.
LISTEN: How do we address the high incidents of rape in SA?
On Sunday night, a list of 11 names of students accused of sex crimes was made public on social media.
A group of protesters also descended on several male residences to demand answers from some of the alleged perpetrators.
Students have accused the institution of failing to protect rape survivors.
The demonstrations continued on Wednesday, with a group of students disrupting several lectures and barricading a road leading onto the Grahamstown campus.
To see Rhodes' management response to the list, _ click here_.