On Friday 03 October, South West Gauteng College TVET College embarked on a peaceful march against the growing scourge of gender-based violence, femicide and xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals. Student, college staff, community members as well as civil organisations marched to the Orlando Police Station to hand over a memorandum with a list of demands to Lieutenant Colonel Allen, the acting Station Commander.
This came 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, the kidnapping of Amy'Leigh de Jager outside her school in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng and recently our very own SWGC student Onkgopotse Tshisi, who was brutally murdered on the 10 th September.
The march commenced at the George Tabor campus in Dube Village, Soweto where students from all six (6) campuses of the college including the ‘Land is Wealth Farm” joined in solidarity to support the cause.
When asked the Principal Mr. Dan Nkosi indicated that the mission is to get the college to take a firm step against the source of violence. “We are saying to our students they can expect the police to do a good job but they must also play a role in assisting our police to bring about justice. Our students must rise and avail themselves to give evidence to such cases, we can play in sensitizing our society and be accountable citizens”. He said.
The Student Representative Council President, Hulisani Mani alluded to the incidents where one of his peers was stabbed to death and Tryphina who was mugged and left for dead but luckily community members called the police who came to her aid hence the submission of the memorandum to the Orlando SAPS.
He further indicated that when students catch a train at the Dube train station they regularly get mugged. “Means of involving residents from Dube hostel have been made with no luck”, said Mani.
Mani also mentioned that the suspect that murdered Onkgopotse Tshisi has been arrested and they have been attending court cases in support of the family. He is also urging community members to support and unite against gender-based violence and affirmed that the college will raise awareness against all these social ills that have taken the country by storm.
By Sabelo Tshabalala