MUT to shut down Durban to demand justice for slain Zolile Khumalo

                                                                                                                27 February 2020

MUT to shut down Durban to demand justice for slain Zolile Khumalo

Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) will shut down Durban on Monday, 2 March 2020 to demand justice for slain student, Zolile Khumalo, who was allegedly murdered by her ex-boyfriend. The University will march from Lonesdale Residence to the Durban High Court in a bid to highlight the scourge of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and to voice the Institution’s condemnation of GBV.

The march will start at corner Sylvester Ntuli Road and Dr Pixley Kaseme Street (outside Lonesdale Residence) and proceed on Sylvester Ntuli Road towards east, then turn right into Anton Lembede Street and proceed down the street, then turn left into Beach Grove, then right onto Margaret Mncadi Avenue and then right onto Dullah Omar Road where the march will end in front of the Durban High Court.

The march comes at a time when the accused in Zolile’s murder trial is due back in court on Monday, 2 March 2020 for the verdict. The trial has been running since Zolile’s murder two years ago.

“We cannot continue to operate like it is business as usual when we are losing such young precious lives to the scourge of Gender-Based Violence. Our universities cannot be hunting grounds for perpetrators,” said Dr Enoch Duma Malaza, MUT Vice-Chancellor & Principal.  “As an institution, our position on GBV is unequivocal; GBV is unacceptable and has no place at MUT and in our society. The institution is committed to doing everything in its power to eliminate GBV.”

The march will be preceded by a candle light vigil the night before at Lonesdale Residence where Khumalo was slain. The vigil will start from 22h00 – 1h00. (See attached invitation for details.)

“We decided to have a vigil at Lonesdale Residence because that is where the deceased was murdered. This is our students’ way of preserving the memory of the deceased and of saying to the family of the deceased that their pain and loss is also our pain and loss,” said Lerato Luthuli, Secretary General of the Student Representative Council at MUT.

This is not the first time that the University has spoken out against GBV. In 2019, the MUT Senate took a stand against GBV and xenophobia and committed the institution to do everything in its power to fight GBV and xenophobia. As a result of that stand, MUT has this year launched a weekly Black Thursday against GBV campaign to raise awareness amongst staff and students about the scourge, and to encourage the university community to report incidences of abuse.

“Last year was a difficult year for universities across the country. We saw many newspaper headlines with stories of university students, mostly female, who had been murdered. As an Institution, parents trust us with the safety of their children,” said Azwi Mufamadi, Director: Public Relations and Brand Management at MUT. “The safety and security of our staff and students sits at the top of MUT’s priorities. We are not going to tolerate any form of abuse at MUT. The institution will do anything in its power to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to the book and that justice is served.”

This week’s instalment of the Black Thursday against GBV event will look at GBV from the perspective of the LGBTQI community. It will run between 12h00 and 13h00 at MUT’s Anniversary Lane on Thursday, 27 February.

Members of the media are encourage to contact Bheki Hlophe (031 819 7195 or should they wish to attend the event or arrange interviews.