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APHILE-APHILE SOLOLO: The celebration of Women’s Week 2014, being held from 4 to 9 August, began with the Pan African Youth Dialogue (PAYD) panel discussion on Beauty and Strength on Tuesday, 5 August at Rhodes University.

Lisa Maholo, the head of the Rhodes University division of PAYD, said the purpose of the discussion was to “provide a platform for young men and women to engage with issues around beauty and strength in a modern society”.

Zukiswa Kota, an Education Researcher and Environmentalist at Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM), raised the notion that beauty lies in strength and the natural environment in which one lives.

ATHINI MAJALI: “18 years ago I fell in love. I met Mr. Right. I was young, naïve and in love with a man. After sometime we decided to move in together. It was on the night of our housewarming party that he raped me along with his lover. They held me down and raped me continuously. For a year I lived with this man, and the events of that night were never discussed. I refused to acknowledge that what transpired that night was rape because men don’t get raped but the reality is – they do- the truth of the matter is: I am a man and I am a rape survivor.”

HEATHER DIXON

TRIGGER WARNING
In breaking the cycle of silence, Dave Luis and Andy Kawa shared their stories of rape and their stories of survival. In the lead up to the Silent Protest, Luis and Kawa spoke out against sexual violence on Wednesday 30 July in a talk titled ‘Rape and Recovery: Narratives of Experience’.

Kawa, gang-raped in 2009, has gone on to launch the Kwanele! Enuf is Enuf! Campaign. Kawa said this is in pursuit of freedom for individuals and communities. The campaign is largely in response to the alarmingly high statistics of rape and gender-based violence in South Africa where one in three women has or will be raped and one in six men has or will be sodomised or molested.

VUYELWA MFEKA:  recent discussion about the current Gaza crisis revealed that the issue has generated much concern within the Rhodes University community. The discussion, hosted by the Rhodes University Palestinian Solidarity Forum, drew a large audience interested in finding ways in which South African citizens can show their support for the people of Gaza.

Shawan Jabarin, general director of the Palestinian human rights organization Al Haq, joined the discussion via Skype from Ramallah in the Palestinian West Bank. Jabarin spoke about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. He also stressed the need for South Africa, as a formerly segregated country, to support Palestine’s struggle for independence. “You have experienced the suffering,” he said in reference to South Africa’s apartheid past.

EMILY CORKE: Grahamstown Riding Club has had to evacuate its horses from some of their stables due to a large fire burning dangerously close to its boundary lines. The fire broke out earlier today in the Grahamstown rubbish dump, adjacent to the stable. Emergency services are on site trying to get the fire under control.

Grahamstown Fire Chief, William Welkom, could not confirm the cause of the fire at this point but he could confirm that there was a vehicle on scene controlling the fire.

EMILY CORKE: Grahamstown residents have taken matters of service delivery accountability into their own hands by forming the Makana Unity League (MUL), which was launched about two weeks ago. Aimed at embodying a value of inclusivity of the town at large, the MUL was adopted and its first members elected at the launch. Representatives from both Grahamstown East and Rhodes University, however, were not present to vote in favour of the organisation.

CHELSEA HAITH: After a man was hospitalised after dousing himself in petrol at the BP garage on African Street in Grahamstown on the morning of Tuesday 27 May, multiple different versions of the story have been circulating on social media and in the press. Some of these versions have drawn links between the incident and a suspected arson at the Bantu Stephen Biko Union that took place in the early hours of Tuesday.

Daily Dispatch has suggested linksbetween the fire and a violent incident between a male and a female student, both in Desmond Tutu Hall. Concerns have been raised that the arson is related to violence in Amina Cachalia house on Tuesday morning.Vicky Heideman, warden of Amina Cachalia House, a female residence in Desmond Tutu Hall said, “I can confirm that no one set themselves alight in my res.”

OppiTV Soapbox asked some international students about the extent to which they feel Rhodes is a “home away from home”. These ‘vox pops’ were filmed during International Week (17 -24 May 2014) at Rhodes University.

The OppiTV Soapbox offers Rhodes students and Grahamstown residents a chance to respond to a topical question every week.

CHELSEA HAITH: A fire broke out this morning at the Steve Biko Union Building on Rhodes University campus. The fire was located in the pool room on the first floor level, behind the Oppidan Dining Hall.

"We received a call at 4:39am from CPU. When the guys arrived they realised it was in the pool room in the Steve Biko Union building. They quickly extinguished it. There was some talk of arson. I am busy investigating that at the moment," said Grahamstown Fire Chief William Welkom.

CHELSEA HAITH: After a man was hospitalised after dousing himself in petrol at the BP garage on African Street in Grahamstown on the morning of Tuesday 27 May, multiple different versions of the story have been circulating on social media and in the press. Some of these versions have drawn links between the incident and a suspected arson at the Bantu Stephen Biko Union that took place in the early hours of Tuesday.

Daily Dispatch has suggested links between the fire and a violent incident between a male and a female student, both in Desmond Tutu Hall. Concerns have been raised that the arson is related to violence in Amina Cachalia house on Tuesday morning.Vicky Heideman, warden of Amina Cachalia House, a female residence in Desmond Tutu Hall said, “I can confirm that no one set themselves alight in my res.”

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