Khensani Maseko: Rhodes student leaders invited to parliamentary hearings

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On Friday, Parliament announced that the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police, Mr Francois Beukman, has invited Rhodes University student leaders to attend certain hearings.

Rhodes student leaders to visit Parliament after Khensani Maseko death

If they choose to accept, the students will attend the Portfolio Committee on Police hearings on gender violence and the Domestic Violence Act on 28 and 29 August 2018 in Cape Town.

On 3 August, Rhodes University student Khensani Maseko took her own life just days after reporting her rape to university management.

According to Beukman, her death is a wake-up call.

“The death of Kensani Maseko is indeed a wake-up call to the nation to deal with institutional inertia and a lack of action by the relevant authorities. It is essential that the student leadership of Rhodes University and related student role-players should attend the Portfolio Committee on Police hearings on gender violence and the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act on 28 and 29 August 2018,” Beukman said in a statement.

The decision was taken in light of the “need to hear all voices on the quality of action” by law-enforcement agencies in dealing with gender-based violence complaints.

Read: EFF’s Mashego targets Bheki Cele and Rhodes University at Khensani’s burial

The Portfolio Committee on Police has called on all organisations to give input on this important hearing in two weeks’ time.

In June, the committee decided to focus on the fight against gender-based violence and the role of government departments in the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act.

The first day of the hearings will focus on briefings from the Civilian Secretariat of Police and the management of the South African Police Service (Saps) on the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act. This will be followed by input from civil society.

Beukman stressed that the committee “especially wants” input from the students and youth on day one.

The second day of the hearings will focus on briefings from the South African Police Family Violence Crime Unit on crimes against women and children.

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