• The Commission for Gender Equality says the murder of law student Nosicelo Mtebeni has darkened the meaning of Women’s Month.
  • Mtebeni’s dismembered body was found on Thursday.
  • The commission has been conducting hearings to assess gender transformation and gender-based violence at universities and TVET colleges.

The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) says it is saddened by the murder of University of Fort Hare law student Nosicelo Mtebeni.

“These grim developments have darkened the meaning of Women’s Month, and we view the continued killings of women as an act of confrontation to the law by GBV (gender-based violence) perpetrators,” CGE chairperson Tamara Mathebula said in a statement on Saturday.

Mtebeni’s dismembered body was found on Thursday – some parts in a suitcase and other parts in a black plastic bag. 

The student’s 25-year-old boyfriend has since been arrested for her murder and is expected to appear in the East London Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

READ | Law student’s boyfriend arrested in East London after police find her body parts in suitcase, bags

The Chapter 9 institution has been conducting hearings to assess gender transformation and gender-based violence at public universities and Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges in the past three years.

“Amongst other things, the hearings sought to ascertain vulnerabilities and GBV risks experienced by women in institutions of higher learning.”

More than 15 vice-chancellors appeared before the commission to help the commission understand gender-related problems at their institutions,” the body said.

CGE RESPONDS TO MURDER OF A STUDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FORT HAREThe Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) will reach out to the leadership of the University of Fort Hare following the gruesome murder of a female student whose body parts were found in a bag this week. pic.twitter.com/QeQndZ7OeQ

— Commission for Gender Equality South Africa (@CGE_ZA) August 21, 2021

It added that it had made several recommendations, including that the Department of Higher Education and Training institute policies and procedures to deal with the scourge of gender-based violence at institutions of higher learning.

The CGE urged institutions of higher learning and members of civil society to engage students on programmes that seek to fight GBV.

“We applaud the SAPS for the speedy arrest of the man suspected of having committed this murder and call on the court to deny him bail,” Mathebula said.

ALSO READ | Blade Nzimande denounces ‘barbaric act’ after student’s dismembered body found in East London

News24 previously reported that the Department of Higher Education and Training had mandated Higher Health – an entity of the Department of Higher Education and Training which is responsible for the implementation of programmes against gender-based violence at university and TVET college campuses – to work together with the University of Fort Hare to provide psychological support to students and all affected parties.

“By working together, by confronting difficult challenges, and by mobilising everyone in and around our institutions, we shall create a society where everyone, especially women, feel safe and are safe at all times and in all places,” Higher Education Nzimande said in a previous statement.

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