Rhodes VC apologises for pushing student

A screen grab from the video that was posted to social media today. Video by: Zandile Zondani
A screen grab from the video that was posted to social media today. Video by: Zandile Zondani

Rhodes University VC Dr Sizwe Mabizela has apologized to the student he was filmed pushing earlier this morning.

The incident, which took place shortly after 7:30am, was filmed and posted to the university’s Student Representative Council  (SRC) Facebook page by Zandile Zondani, a third year BA Law student.

Zondani said that along with other students she tried to block the entrance to the institution as a means to stop academic activity.

“Once we had barricaded the entrance that’s when the VC came. He told us to take it down and if we wouldn’t he would do it himself,” Zondani said.

“Once he had removed some of the rocks and trees we decided to sit down to block the entrance.”

The video then shows Mabizela pushing a girl sitting on a rock.

“It really made all of us even more angry,” Zondani said.

Univeristy spokeswoman Catherine Deiner said: “The Vice-Chancellor has this morning in an engagement with students unreservedly apologized for his actions.”

Tension at the university erupted when hundreds of students started searching residences for alleged rapists and threatened an academic shutdown when the names of 11 male students accused of rape were posted on social media.

The protest arose after the launch of a rape culture awareness campaign which had prompted the SRC to express support.

However, when the SRC tweeted a picture of council members expressing solidarity, a student retweeted the picture, saying her friend’s alleged rapist was in the image.

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