Today, the University of Cape Town held a memorial service to commemorate slain film and media studies student Uyinene “Nene” Mrwetyana. The 19-year-old was allegedly raped and brutally bludgeoned at the Clareinch Post Office in Claremont by one of its employees. Her death is one of many that has sparked national outrage at crimes against women.
Students and staff at UCT have gathered to remember Mrwetyana on Wednesday, September 4, which was also declared a day of mourning. It is reported that students are protesting over “security issues” and have resolved to shut the university down if their demands are not met.
As this is a day of remembrance for Mrwetyana, which has spawned the hashtag #RememberingNene, UCT also declared that there would be no classes. Earlier this morning, students and staff marched to Parliament in protest, before Graca Machel gathered at the university’s Plaza to say goodbye to their friend and fellow student.
Take a stand and rise against sexual and gender-based violence.
— UCT (@UCT_news) September 4, 2019
Mrwetyana’s brutal death, along with the murders of horse show rider Meghan Cremer and boxer Leighandre Jegels have spurned what many are viewing as a social awakening. The public at large, and women in particular, are saying “enough is enough” by protesting against the brutal realities of what it means to be a woman in South Africa.
#WEFAfrica19 rocked by #StopKillingOurWomen protests calling for an end of violence against women #sabcnews high police presence. Protestors demand to be addressed by President Cyril Ramaphosa. CTICC doors locked as protestors sing “senzeni naa” outside pic.twitter.com/VvaFZUoNhN
— Glory Sefako-Musi (@glorysefako) September 4, 2019
In recent weeks, femicide and disappearances of women and young girls have dominated headlines not only in Cape Town, but across the country. Those who have been subjected to abuse and/or sexual assault are finding comfort and strength from other women to share their stories, which have also served to highlight the serious problem of femicide.
Hundreds of protestors attempted to enter the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), where the WEF conference is currently taking place. Police were deployed to the CTICC as a result, and arrived in riot vehicles. The protest is believed to consist mainly of students, and it has been reported that stun grenades were used to disperse the crowd.
— texxpacito (@texxonfire) September 4, 2019
as I often as I can, I use my platforms to speak up. yesterday I did so using my biggest platform – photography. this was yesterday and UP’s vigil. #UyineneMrwetyana #StopKillingOurWomen #SayNoToXenophobia#AmINext is she? pic.twitter.com/YdsRctIFlN
— Lesedi (@lesedi_lk14) September 4, 2019
Picture: Lester Kiewett/Twitter