College joins protests against gender-based violence

Gugulethu False Bay College campus community making their voices heard.

Hundreds of students and staff of False Bay College in Gugulethu joined last week’s protests as people took to the streets or marched to Parliament to add their voices to the call to stop femicide and gender-based violence.

On Thursday September 5 the False Bay College community gathered at Steve Biko Road (N1), peacefully protesting, singing and calling for harsher punishments for perpetrators.

Campus manager Fred Koopman said in the wake of the rape and murder of several young women, the campus decided to take a stand. “We felt as a community that enough is enough. We want to make our voice heard. We feel that something should be done to address the killings.

“The government has resources to tackle the issue. We could not fold our arms while young people are dying,” he said.

Their protest was one of a series of protests, pickets, and social media campaigns which followed the arrest of a 42-year-old
Khayelitsha man for the rape and murder of first-year University of Cape Town (UCT) student Uyinene Mrwetyana.

Residents who joined the peaceful protest told Vukani the campus community should be commended for responding to the murders.

Silia Mboto, who has a child of her own, said the country was struggling to deal with gender-based violence. She said it was institutions like the college that could help fight the scourge.

“Remember these institutions are at risk because they have girl children. I am happy to see institutions like this one taking a stand. It gives me hope to see the campus community showing the residents what must happen,” she said.

“If we stand together to fight the scourge, there is a big hope. In fact, seeing these young people singing with placards gives me hope. I can safely say, this battle will be defeated by us and not by police and the government alone,” she said.