'As a family‚ we do not take lightly the circumstances leading up to Khensani's death' - Family of Rhodes student

Rhodes University student leader Khensani Maseko
Rhodes University student leader Khensani Maseko
Image: Khensani Maseko / Instagram

The family of Khensani Maseko‚ the Rhodes University student who committed suicide after reporting she had been raped‚ has condemned violence against women.

“We would like to explicitly express that we condemn‚ in the strongest possible terms‚ any form of violence and abuse against women and more particularly rape against women. We urge that the law should be allowed to take its course‚” the family said in a statement.

The family confirmed that Maseko committed suicide on Friday.

“On Friday 3 August 2018‚ Khensani passed away by taking her own life‚ devastating her family‚ friends and the larger community of colleagues and peers.

As a family‚ we do not take lightly the circumstances leading up to Khensani's death.” The family asked that they be given an opportunity to mourn and grieve Maseko’s death in private.

She will be buried on Thursday.

On Monday‚ Rhodes University Vice Chancellor‚ Dr Sizwe Mabizela‚ lowered the institution’s flag in commemoration of Maseko’s tragic death. The flag will fly at half mast until her funeral.

The university said Maseko reported on July 30 that she had been allegedly raped in May.

“The university immediately made contact with her family and they travelled the next day from Johannesburg to Grahamstown for a meeting where they elected to take Khensani home for a while. It was also agreed at the meeting that Rhodes University will follow up on the matter.”

According to the university‚ Maseko was due to return to the institution on Monday to meet the support and investigation team.

A notice to suspend her alleged rapist has been issued by the university.

Activities in remembrance of her and to highlight issues around gender-based violence are planned for this week.

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