EFF's Mandisa Mashego slams Rhodes University and Bheki Cele at Khensani Maseko's funeral
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Gauteng chairperson Mandisa Mashego on Thursday took a swipe at Rhodes University and the police ministry for failing to protect victims of rape and sexual assault in universities.
Speaking at the sombre funeral of Rhodes University student Khensani Maseko who committed suicide after allegedly being raped earlier this year‚ Mashego called Rhodes University management hypocrites‚ saying their policies do not protect the rights of rape victims.
She also lashed out at Police Minister Bheki Cele‚ who was present at the funeral‚ for not making a commitment to end the scourge of gender-based violence.
Maseko’s mother‚ Thembi Thobile Maseko‚ wept uncontrollably and struggled to walk as her daughter’s white coffin was put into the hearse.
Cele and Rhodes University vice chancellor Dr Sizwe Mabizela were among the dignitaries that attended the funeral‚ which was held at the Nasrec Memorial Park in Johannesburg on Thursday.
“Rhodes University are the biggest hypocrites. They harbour rapists and are actually the ones encouraging rape at Rhodes‚” Mashego charged.
“I want to say to Rhodes today: you are cowards. You have taken away our former SRC deputy president and for that we will never forgive you. You have blocked her from opening a case at the police station. She would have been alive today‚ if you did not do that.
“Those useless policies that you have that deal with sexual offences are not helping our children. You must drop those policies and‚ in fact‚ the minister of police must put satellite police stations to protect our children at every university. This thing of police officers being bribed by university executives must come to an end.
“We want to make it clear that we are not friends with universities because the universities in collusion with the police are to blame for what happened.”
She accused universities of preventing students who become victims of sexual assault from opening cases at police stations.
“As we know and as it happens with every case of child rape‚ when the students go the police stations to open cases‚ the university goes to bribe the police. We know this‚” Mashego alleged.
“The minister of police is sitting here and abused this opportunity to only honour the life of Khensani by making a commitment to say that the only way fighter Khensani will be the last victim of this‚ is if the police stopped their corruption and secondary abuse of women and rape victims…
“We know that the NPA is complicit in this. We know that the courts are complicit in this. They send criminals back to communities. They assign incompetent NPA prosecutors to our cases.”
She said crime was rampant in South Africa - in “workplaces‚ behind the high walls of the elites and capitalists who are living in wealthy suburbs. Domestic workers get raped in South Africa by their male bosses‚ black women in corporate South Africa are getting sexually harassed‚ and children are getting raped at universities‚ in the streets in taxi ranks - 24 hours a day.”
Mashego said the EFF would‚ in honour of Maseko and in honour of the #TotalShutdown women who marched against gender-based violence last week‚ demand that special courts be set up.
“We are no longer going to tolerate losing our children through this scourge. Special courts must be set up.”