The purpose of the event hosted by the Tshwane University of Technology’s Directorate of Student Affairs and Extracurricular Development and facilitated by Charles Zwane, a resident of Kgosi Mampuru II, the program included poetry, drama, music, striving towards rehabilitation and an engagement on the GBV/F topic by students and residents.
Zwane said, "We will share any information you may need as we have people in prison who know crime practically and theoretically.”
Four residents shared their testimonials. The first three talked about the charges against them, explicitly detailing the crimes they committed, while the fourth panelist discussed his academic accomplishments whilst in prison. These four inmates were all charged for rape and spoke at length about their remorse for their actions.
Director of Health and Wellness, Dr Annah Sefolosha, said the relationship between TUT and Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Facility started in 2015. “We used to visit Kgosi Mampuru with Peer Educators and the Student Representative Council. We realised there was a need for collaboration with Correctional Services. The primary goal of our journey is to help with rehabilitation and crime prevention,” she explained.
“Since Gender-Based Violence and Femicide is linked to crime, we believe that GBV/F must be addressed by beginning to engage with inmates who participated in GBV/F and other crimes,” Dr Annah continued.
Alfred Mokgatsane Baloyi, Security Manager at the Central Correctional Centre said: “Risk assessment will play an important role in determining the likelihood of reoffending as well as the impact of GBV programmes. We should address Gender-Based Violence without focusing solely on women as victims,” added Alfred.
"It is quite a serious challenge to address such a situation, because men and boys are mostly taught to persevere, even if you are raped in prison," Alfred said. “It is something one must keep quiet about because you will have the opportunity to do so to other initiates as they arrive. It's gang-related."
Sizwe Nyambi, Soshanguve SRC President, said: “The visit was an eye-opener. I have learned the importance of adhering to the Constitution and that everyone deserves a second chance. There are inmates who really take their rehabilitation seriously. Victims shouldn't be scared to speak up no matter how frightening the perpetrator is. No one is above the law, but the victims’ silence gives perpetrators the confidence that they are above anything. When victims speak up, incidents of GBV/F are bound to become less.”
“Women deserve our protection, not to be harmed by us. Without them we would not be here, therefore I want to encourage every student who suffers abuse to be fearless, come out and speak up about their situations,” Sizwe concluded.