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Wits students protest in solidarity with Rhodes against rape

Many women were armed with sjamboks but shared their stories of how they too have been violated.

Students at Wits University have held a demonstration at the institution in solidarity with their counterparts at Rhodes fighting against a rape culture. Picture: Ziyanda Ngcobo/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Students at Wits University today held a demonstration at the institution in solidarity with their counterparts at Rhodes fighting against a rape culture.

The demonstration were held at the Braamfontein campus's Great Hall and was in solidarity with the women who released the Rhodes reference list detailing alleged sexual offenders.

They spoke frankly about rape culture and how they want to deal with assaults on campuses.

A moment of silence was given to all victims and survivors of rape.

Simamkele Dlakavu was one of them.

"On my first day at Wits, I was raped by a friend, someone who I had a relationship with, someone who I knew and this week I have to tell my mother that."

Students gathered thanked the women at Rhodes for their courage in highlighting rape culture on campuses.

EMOTIONALLY CHARGED DAY

Wits SRC president Nompendulo Mkatshwa earlier spoke frankly about patriarchy within leadership structures.

The Wits transformation office's Pura Mgolombane called on more men to support such initiatives.

The university's gender equity office was also in support of the protest and students were urged to visit university facilities that deal with trauma.

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