Nzimande speaks out on violence against women at universities

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Universities and colleges have been urged to continue to implement programmes towards addressing sexual and gender-based violence (GBV) within the Post School Education and Training (PSET) system.

Higher Education and Training Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, made this call during a media briefing on Tuesday after a video of a university student stabbing his wife at a private student residence in Belhar, Cape Town, circulated on social media. 

“This kind of barbaric behaviour by males against women must be condemned and perpetrators must face the full might of the law. We cannot continue like this in our society, where as many as 38% of murders are committed against women, often by their intimate partners,” Nzimande said.

He urged both the government and the PSET sector to intensify campaigns to confront and defeat the scourge of GBV in society and at post school education and training and higher learning institutions.

“I launched the Transforming MENtalities initiative, which is a multi-stakeholder partnership within the PSET, with a particular focus on mobilising men in our sector to be part of championing a world free of gender biases, stereotypes, violence and discrimination.”

He commended the arrest of a senior Fort Hare University employee for the alleged murder and attempted murder of employees at the university.

The accused, including nine men and a woman, appeared in the Alice Magistrate's Court on Tuesday on charges of murder and attempted murder of Fort Hare Fleet Manager, Petrus Roets and Mboneli Vesele, who was the bodyguard to Vice-Chancellor Professor Sakhela Buhlungu.

The case was postponed to 13 December 2023 for the finalisation of pending bail applications for three of the accused. 

“We had indicated to Minister Cele (Police Minister) that indeed, no stone must be left unturned in going to the reasons for the killings at Fort Hare. Without prejudging the situation, as Minister, I am deeply concerned about the latest arrest of someone inside the Vice-Chancellor's office and ostensibly responsible for the security in the institution. 

“This may point to the fact that the problems at UFH may be deeper than meets the eye. I will be further engaging with Council on the latest developments, particularly given the fact that complaints have been raised with me about alleged illegal surveillance of Council and staff members,” Nzimande said. -