Mon, 23 Sep 2019

Hundreds of University of the Witwatersrand students, led by women, took to the streets to protest against the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide on Monday.

This comes after a dark period that saw South Africans mourning the brutal murder of University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyane, South African boxer Leighandre "Baby Lee" Jegels, Jesse Hess and the kidnapping of Amy'Leigh de Jager outside her school in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng.

These senseless killings prompted the nationwide #AmINext movement, with victims of abuse calling out their alleged abusers which was documented on a viral thread over social media app Twitter.

'Am I next?' MPs agree it's time for greater action to fight violence against women

Wits SRC president Sisanda Mbolekwa told eNCA on Monday afternoon that the institution had joined the march in solidarity as "it is a microcosm of society".

"What happens outside of campus happens in this institution as well.

"There are 38 000 students at Wits, more than half of them being women and the burden of safety should not lie with the victims," she explained.

The students handed a memorandum over to management with a list of demands including additional safety measures such as the distribution of rape and safety kits.

"Wits operates [currently] on a donation basis, we have had some paid directly to the suppliers account - we collected some today which will be dropped off on campus," Mbolekwa added, referring to the kits.

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