The Student Representative Council at Rhodes University says it is now struggling to garner support for their anti-rape protest following an interdict obtained by the institution yesterday.
Protests have significantly died down today with only a handful of National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union members arriving this morning to show support for the students.
It follows the release of a so-called reference list with the names of eleven people accused of raping other students.
The students are demanding a more humane method of reporting rape.
Yesterday, they clashed with police who fired rubber bullets and stun grenades and five people were arrested.
SRC member Naledi Mashishi says the university’s application for an interdict was unnecessary.
Mashishi says it has dealt their cause a significant blow.
But the SRC says it remains committed to changing the university’s sexual violence policies.
WATCH: Rape culture on campus – Wits students speak out.
Barricades blocking the entrance to Rhodes University have now been removed but students say their struggle for justice for rape victims is far from over.
Talks are now underway with a newly set up task team to investigate how the university deals with rape.
The rubble and cement blocks have been removed from the road leading up to the university with the use of a tractor while students jeered
Many students failed to show up for another protest yesterday after the university secured a court interdict against those blocking the roads.
The SRC has slated this as an attempt to silence their movement.
Mashishi says there are more fundamental issues to address.
The university has suspended classes for the remainder of the week as student protests against rape on campus continued.
It says the decision is in recognition of the trauma and strain that all students and staff have experienced over the past two days.
In a short statement, it said academic activity would only resume on Monday, but libraries and specific science labs would remain open.
The students say they won’t end the protest until action is taken against the people mentioned on the list.
The university has secured an interdict preventing the demonstration and police have appealed to victims of police brutality to come forward.
The students want the university to take against the men they accuse of being rapists.
They also say the police’s use of rubber bullets pepper spray and stun grenades was uncalled for yesterday.(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)
Source – ewn