Dear students and colleagues
Wednesday, 4 September, has been an emotional day for the University of Cape Town (UCT) community and for wider South African society, with several protest events rising up against sexual and gender-based violence in this country. Since the beginning of the week, staff and students have been gathering in separate vigils, prayer circles and small groups to remember Uyinene ‘Nene’ Mrwetyana
A mass picket to Parliament this morning swelled to over 3 000 people when members of the public joined staff and students in solidarity against sexual and gender-based violence. At the memorial service held on the plaza and steps in front of Sarah Baartman Hall, staff and students drew together again to mourn Nene’s loss.
To give the campus community time for reflection and healing, the UCT executive have made a decision that no academic classes or tests will take place on Thursday, 5 September, and Friday, 6 September 2019. Exceptions will be made for activities that cannot be cancelled. These will be communicated by the relevant faculty.
Students experiencing any distress are encouraged to utilise the SADAG UCT Student Careline (0800 24 25 26), which is free from a Telkom line, or to SMS 31393 for a callback. This line offers 24/7 telephonic counselling, advice, referral facilities and general mental health support. The Student Wellness Service has also made arrangements for individual and group debriefings for students, extending their hours of service to offer students proper access to care.
Communication and Marketing Department
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The University of Cape Town mourns the tragic death of our student Uyinene Mrwetyana, fondly known as Nene. The fact that a young female student has died in this horrific manner is devastating, and it has shocked us to our core. It is incomprehensible that a young life, with so much potential, has been stolen from her family and our community. It is even more distressing that this horrible incident is one of many where women – young and old, and even girls – are ripped from our communities in such a violent manner.