UCT students crowdfund to retaliate against GBV

Samantha Perkins and Zoar Lewis.
University of Cape Town (UCT) students have started a crowdfunding to retaliate against gender-based violence (GBV).

This follows several incidents of women and children being raped and murdered in the last few weeks.

Over the past month, five other young women in the Cape have died in horrific circumstances: Janika Mallo,14, from Heinz Park was found dead in her grandmother’s yard on Sunday September 1 with her head bashed in and possibly raped; Jesse Hess, 19, a University of the Western Cape student from Parow was raped and killed in her flat last Friday August 30 where her 85-year-old grandfather was also killed; 30-year-old Meghan Cremer’s body was found at a sand mine on a Philippi farm on the morning of Thursday August 8 after being missing from August 3; the dismembered body of Lynette Volschenk, 32, was found stashed in plastic bags in her Bellville flat on Thursday August 22 and eight-month pregnant Sadiqah Newman, 26, was shot multiple times while on her way to a shop in Tambo Village near Manenberg on Thursday August 8.

A group of UCT students, lead by Samantha Perkins, 22, and Zoar Lewis, 21, have launched a crowdfunding campaign #IWillNotBeNext on BackaBuddy to stand up against gender-based violence in South Africa.  

The initiative aims to honour Ms Mrwetyana, Ms Hess, Ms Jegels, Ms Volschenk and Ms Cremer who lost their lives due to senseless acts of violence.

“We currently face what’s akin to a war against women in South Africa. Recent events have demonstrated that women are not at liberty to go anywhere without having to fear for their lives – albeit to, from or at the grocery store, campus, a club, a pre-school, the post office, or even one’s own home. It has been clearly illustrated that there simply is NO safe place for the women of this country.” says spokesperson and law student, Samantha.

Police recorded 177,620 reported crimes against women, 36,731 sexual offences, including rape, assault and the murder of 2,930 South African women, according to the SAPS annual report in the 2017/2018 financial year.

“This is the breaking point, the ‘enough is enough’ moment, the time to stand up and say that we WILL NOT tolerate this any longer. We have to deal with this culture of violence against women that is so deeply entranced within our society,”  said philosophy and English literature, student Nomazwi Nkoane.

Funds raised will be used to purchase and distribute a minimum of 1400 units of pepper spray cans to female students at the UCT.

In less than 24 hours, the campaign has already raised a total of R44 523.72 towards the fundraising target of R100 000 with contributions from 80 donors.