'My future career has been taken away' - anti-rape activist expelled from Rhodes

A former student activist has spoken about the injustices she's suffered at the at the hands of Rhodes University.

Dominique McFall is one of two former Rhodes students who were permanently expelled from the university because of their involvement in anti-rape protests in 2016.

Student leaders from Rhodes are among those who’ve been invited to attend Parliament’s public hearings on gender violence which begin on Tuesday.

Read: Rhodes students invited to appear before parly hearings on gender violence

She hopes that there will be a variety of voices and stories heard in Parliament, beyond the university management's perspective.

McFall says that the university's sanction and life expulsion have robbed her of her dreams to become a gender studies lecturer.

Her degree was withheld, her credits nullified, and her academic transcripts will not be recognised by any other tertiary institution.

She discusses her involvement in student activism, silencing by university management, the #RUReferenceList which was spread in April 2016, and her battle for education.

NGO, the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (Seri) is legally representing the students in their ongoing appeal against life expulsion.

In 2015, in my first year, I started learning about the rape culture on campus and the lack of action that the university was taking.

Dominique McFall, former Rhodes University students

They took down all the posters. It was just a feeling of being silenced.

Dominique McFall, former Rhodes University students

It was another sign that Rhodes didn't want to talk about sexual assault on campus and they weren't willing to engage with students.

Dominique McFall, former Rhodes University students

The thing about the reference list is that.. it didn't mention anything about what those men were accused of. It was because of their reputaion that people knew exaclty what that list was.

Dominique McFall, former Rhodes University students

Sexual assault and sexual violence were so pervasive on campus that everyone, not only knows someone who's been violated but, also knows the name of the person who has violated them as well

Dominique McFall, former Rhodes University students

In the last year, the most frustrating thing has been for me the sanction. It not only makes my prior education void, but also prohibits me from studying further at any institution at any point in time.

Dominique McFall, former Rhodes University students

I am an aspiring gender studies lecturer. It's not only my past in education that has been taken away, but my future career.

Dominique McFall, former Rhodes University students

Listen to the discussion on The Pippa Hudson Show:


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