Open column

By Siyabonga-ka-Phindile Yonzi

This term was marked by the significant symbol of women closing their mouths with tape. This is very symbolic of sisters who do not report gender based violence but continue to be involved with the abusive partner. My question is that, why don’t we make a lot of noise for the whole day on behalf of those who are silenced?

The photo exhibition which showed women posing confidently in their birthday suits was one of the brave moves in raising awareness that women are owners of their bodies and don’t need anyone’s approval. Some students raised concern about the exhibition, because they thought it was just posing without any momentous impact on the thinking of the society. My question is that, why in a University that has such a high consumption of pornography, did campaigners chose to be nude as form of protest?


While I was in Eden Grove trying to make sense of the pictures, I went to the library, unable to draw an adequate conclusion on the pictures. As I was approaching I saw Lady Justice (Eish, I didn’t know this woman is still alive because the last time I saw her she was a statue in some court building). Lady Justice was standing blood stained with women lying on the quad and she was carrying a sword. My question was, did she kill all of them because they were silent on the face of injustice?

I didn’t go to the library because, while growing up I have seen several people dead and was told not to cross the crime scene (I happen to reside near a tavern in a area that was notorious of having people who stabbed others as if they were in a movie). I met a childhood friend. I asked her who I asked what happened in the library. She said that it was protest against the rape of justice system in South Africa. I asked her, who has an audacity to rape our justice system post-1994?

My friend told me that she was told that Jacob Zuma had raped justice system and she had to say that she didn’t think that Zuma would ever be her president because he is a rapist. She was instructed to say Zuma is filth and unfit to govern our country. She was further instructed that Zuma is a sexist.

I asked myself, do campus activist know that the court will not always give verdicts in their favour? And if Zuma is branded a rapist after court had cleared him, is Mandela still a terrorist after voted by South Africans into presidency? Are leading gender activist misusing their status to impose their political views? Is not accepting a decision of more than 12 million people that voted Zuma and ANC into power not undemocratic by gender activists? Why didn’t the gender activists ever speak out when black women were mistreated by the University? Is gender equality for white and black middle class females only? Why have these gender activists never engaged constructively with political organisations on campus on the matter other than protesting in their event?

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