The Union of Muslim Students' Association of South Africa (MSA Union), along with the rest of civil society, remains deeply distressed and is still coming to terms with the brutal rape and murder of student, Anne Booysen. We continue to pray that God grants Anne peace and her family contentment and strength.
We have acknowledged that the horrific incident unravelled deep sociological problems within South African society where the systematic degradation of women and children has given way for domestic violence, rape and other violent crimes towards them. Rape, particularly, has become part of a collective consciousness of South African women. Such incidents, however, appeal to a universal morality that transcends religion, ethnicity, gender and age and should be addressed holistically.
Two primary problems are illustrated from such incidents: The moral decay of South African society, and the need for harsher legal punishment for violent crimes.
The MSA Union strongly condemns any form of sexual harassment, rape, domestic violence and women and child abuse. We have realised that even in our tertiary institutions, such incidents are rife. Last year a student from the University of Johannesburg was raped, and this is just one of many such cases at our campuses. The organisation is in the process of developing various awareness campaigns on our campuses and schools across South Africa. The campaigns will intend to create a consciousness around these often taboo issues and will take place in the next month. We applaud Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekgha on taking the idea of rape education at schools further. We are further appealing to all students, our supporters and constituencies to speak out against rape, confront it and fight it. We are calling on victims of rape and abuse to be strong, but break their silence and to not protect the rapists- they must contact the authorities.
We are also calling on our university management and Student Representative Councils to create a campus space where such crimes will not be tolerated and also to create a space that will serve as a safe haven for victims of such crimes.
In addressing the second issue, the MSA Union has joined other members of civil society including the ANC Women’s League, Muslim Judicial Council, South African Student Congress, Anglican Church, Lead SA and others in calling on the legal system of South Africa to employ harsher sentences in rape cases and violent crimes and to introduce special courts to deal with rape cases.
In addition, we call on the rest of our South African civil society, religious organisations, government, political parties and business people to engage in this collective consciousness to stop rape in this country.
We pray that Allah guides us to what is best, and protects our women, children and society.“Among those We have created there is a community who guide by the Truth and act justly according to it.” (Surat al-A‘raf, Verse 181)
Issued by the Union of Muslim Students’ Association of South Africa (MSA Union)*
For more information, contact:
For more information, contact:
Yusuf Talia, President of the Union of Muslim Students’ Association of South Africa, firstname.lastname@example.org, 071 677 2391
Khadeeja Manjra, Vice President of the Union of Muslim Students’ Association of South Africa, email@example.com, 071 351 2094
*The Muslim Students' Association (MSA) was established in 1973. It has grown to be one of the largest student representative bodies in South Africa. The MSA aims to assist in developing students and creating an active citizenship. This is done by developing structures to create a national and influential student representative body, leadership development programs, advocating for social, political and economic justice through campaigns, social projects and humanitarian initiatives that are all student based