The Chairperson of Universities South Africa (USAf), Professor Sibongile Muthwa, has this morning expressed her shock and dismay at the ruthless and senseless killing of Ms Nosicelo Mtebeni, a fourth-year law student at the University of Fort Hare.
To the Mtebeni family and the University of Fort Hare students, its leadership, and the community, she has expressed her deepest condolences on behalf of all Vice-Chancellors of our 26 Universities and the entire university sector and affirms USAf’s unwavering support to the Vice-Chancellor Professor Sakhela Buhlungu in this challenging time.
“The entire university sector is in shock today as we reflect on this tragic event that resulted in the senseless killing of Ms Mtebeni. It is incomprehensible that as we celebrate Women’s Month, the perennial and unrelenting violence against women continues unabated. The chronic and unwarranted onslaught on the women of South Africa and their plight must be taken seriously by every South African”.
USAf condemns all forms of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and harm in the strongest terms, Professor Muthwa said. “We reaffirm our zero-tolerance for same on our campuses. Universities are a microcosm of society, and we must therefore ensure that we lead from the front in stemming the deadly tide of GBV.”
The USAf Chair said her organisation also recognises, and is grateful for, the support of the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, and the intervention by Higher Health in deploying a team of experts to UFH to support staff and students.
“We will work unceasingly to realise the vision of justice for all survivors of gender-based harm and continue to defend the freedom for especially the young women of this country, to learn and thrive in caring, supportive, and safe environments,” Professor Muthwa concluded.
Issued on behalf of the USAf Chairperson Professor Sibongile Muthwa
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