Rhodes University student leaders invited to Parliament following Khensani Maseko's death

Following the death of 23-year-old Khensani Maseko, Parliament has invited Rhodes University student leaders to attend the Portfolio Committee on Police hearings on gender-based violence and the Domestic Violence Act.

The hearings are expected to be held on August 28 and 29.

Maseko, who was laid to rest on Women's Day at Nasrec Memorial Park in Johannesburg, took her own life after her boyfriend allegedly raped her in May.

Her death opened up a dialogue on gender-based violence in the country.

"The death of Khensani Maseko is indeed a wake-up call to the nation to deal with institutional inertia and a lack of action by the relevant authorities," committee chairperson Francois Beukman said in a statement on Friday.

READ: Khensani Maseko: Family and friends bid farewell to a 'shining star'

"It is essential that the student leadership of Rhodes University and related student roleplayers should attend the Portfolio Committee on Police hearings on gender violence and the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act." 

"The portfolio committee believes that law enforcement agencies and government departments should step up their efforts to combat gender violence," Beukman added.

Day One of the parliamentary hearings is expected to focus on briefings from the Civilian Secretariat of Police and the management of the South African Police Service on the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act.

"We especially want input from students and the youth on day one," Beukman said.

The committee is also calling on any organisation that wishes to participate in the hearings to submit their details to the committee secretariat.

The university's Student Representative Council president Nhlakanipho Mahlangu told News24 earlier that they had not yet received the parliamentary invitation.

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