Parliamentary Committee to invite Rhodes students to public hearings on gender-based violence

11:53 (GMT+2) Fri, 10 Aug 2018

A Parliamentary Committee has extended an invitation to Rhodes University students to attend a portfolio committee on gender-based violence.

The Chairperson of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Police, Francois Beukman, said the public hearings will take place in Cape Town on the 298 and 29 August.

“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,” Beukman said.

The third-year BA law student took her own life after reporting being sexually assaulted on the campus earlier this year.  The institution has since suspended the alleged perpetrator.

Beukman said it was essential that the student leadership of Rhodes University and related student role-players attend the hearings “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”.

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

Beukman said the portfolio committee’s management committee decided in June 2018 to focus on the fight against gender-based violence and the role of government departments in the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act.

He said the Portfolio Committee has called on any civil-society organisation that wish to participate in the hearings to submit their details to the Secretariat of the Portfolio Committee on Police.

Beukman emphasised that the portfolio committee expects that the National Commissioner of Police and his management team will respond with urgency to all gender violence matters reported at South African Police Service stations countrywide.