The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Innovation has added its voice to the growing outrage over a University of the Western Cape student caught on video viciously stabbing his wife, a Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) student, at the weekend.
The 32-year-old man, Ntembeko Myalo, appeared in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court facing an attempted murder charge.
His partner, a 26-year-old woman, is currently in hospital.
The committee welcomed Myalo’s arrest and wished the victim a speedy recovery. The committee also called for a multi-pronged approach to addressing gender-based violence (GBV) in society and at institutions of higher learning.
The committee said it was concerned that the scourge of GBV continued to plague society and has reached “unacceptable levels”, in which institutions of higher learning have not been spared.
“The committee calls upon the full implementation of the National Strategic Plan on GBV which aims to provide a multi-sectoral strategic policy and programming framework to strengthen a coordinated response to the GBV crisis.
“The committee welcomes initiatives of the Department of Higher Education and Training in introducing programmes such as the Higher Health Civic Education and Health Skills Programme as well as the Transforming MENtalities programmes as part of the curriculum,” it added.
The Transforming MENtalities Initiative is a programme focused on men in the higher education sector to be part and champions of a world free of GBV and against all forms of discrimination. The committee said the introduction of these programmes in the Post School Education and Training sector was welcomed, as it contributed to assist in shaping the social construction of students.
The chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education Science and Innovation, Nompendulo Mkhatshwa said institutions of higher learning were one of many social institutions that ought to play a role in shaping and harnessing the social construction of societies in alignment to the Constitution that speaks of a non-sexist society.
“The committee wishes to reiterate that it continuously engages with the Commission for Gender Equality on its investigations in universities and TVET colleges regarding GBV and gender related matters reported at institutions. The committee has had follow up meetings with institutions to ensure that they implement observations and recommendations of the CGE,” she added.
The committee will also receive a briefing from the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) on the findings and recommendations of the South African National Survey on Health Life Experiences and Family Relations study later this week.
“The committee further implores on Higher Health and the institution's mental health services to ensure that the victim and the entire CPUT community receives the support it needs to get through such a traumatic experience,” Mkhatshwa added.