The University joined the rest of South Africa and the world in raising awareness on abuse as part of the 16 Days of Activism against the abuse of Women and Children Campaign. The University launched the #IAmNotNext Campaign with the students on Tuesday, 26 November 2019, where students took a pledge not to perpetrate any acts of violence.
Mbali Mkhize, Senior Director: Marketing and Communications at MUT, said they decided to honour the global call because Gender-Based Violence had become a serious problem that South Africa could not ignore. “As a University, last year we suffered a huge loss when our first year Engineering student, Zolile Khumalo, was gunned down. It is these heinous acts that we are trying to eradicate in our society,” said Mkhize.
Mkhize said that what concerned them most was the fact that GBV was continuing on a larger scale. “A number of higher education institutions have suffered the same fate. This is very worrying. Today, we decided to bring the message to our students, and some members of staff that MUT supported all efforts against Gender-Based violence, and equally condemned all acts that sought to hurt and undermine women and children. We would also like to point out that there are some men who are abused by their women partners. We also condemn that. We appeal to everyone to respect the same sex relationships, and give that section of our community the respect and dignity that every human being deserves,” said Mbali.
At least two University students at the #IAmNotNext said their friends had suffered at the hands of people close to them. Gcinokuhle Mbhele, a first year Building student, said her friend was a recovering rape victim, while Nongcebo Majozi said her friend has been abused by her boyfriend.
The event was preceded by a safety drill driven by the Department of Marketing and Communications and the Health and Safety Officer, Lizwi Masondo. The safety drill was organised to test the efficiency with which the students would respond in case of emergency at the newly built student residence.