South African Students Congress

Statement on the rape incident at the SASCO National Council

7 December 2012

The National General Council (NGC) of the South African Students Congress noted with serious dismay and disappointment the allegations of rape of one of our delegates by other delegates during our general council taking place at Elijah Mango College of Education in Mpumalanga province.

We condemn in harshest terms the abuse of women and call for the full might of the law to be exercised against the alleged perpetrators. We want to assure our members and society that we remain a non-sexist organisation which frowns at the abuse of women and children. We remain committed to fighting against gender inequality in society.

Part of the important discussions during our NGC was the persistent oppression of women in our society, particularly by men. Our NGC reaffirmed our commitment to negate the patriarchal power relations in our society. The NGC said, "… our programs must also focus on socialising the male comrade to understand that the major difference between a male and a female is their physiological make-up."

Our Sexual Harassment Code of Conduct instructs us to deal with such cases, in a sensitive, honest and confidential manner. We will protect the confidentiality of the comrades involved particularly the alleged victim as this is a difficult time for her. As an organisation, we have co-operated with the South African Police Service (SAPS) and pledged our full support to all processes and investigation in dealing with this case. We will continue to support and work very closely with the police to get to the bottom of this matter.

Contact:

Ngoako Selamolela, SASCO President, 071 875 2224

Themba Masondo, SASCO Secretary General, 079 199 3421