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Posters cause big res event upset

The Star
The cancellation of the University of Pretoria’s Serrie residential competition yesterday prompted mixed emotions among students.

The finals of the annual res competition were set to take place today but the TuksRes Sub-Council cancelled them after what transpired in the competition’s preliminary event on Tuesday night.

Male students waved posters bearing offensive and sexist slogans during a dance performance by women students.

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OFFENSIVE: One of the sexist posters displayed at the res event. Picture: Fezekile Msimang

“Show us your tits”; “Unlike a sleeper couch, I don’t pull out”; “I’m not an Asian but I’ll eat your cat”; “Nice thigh gap, can I fill it”; and “Can I make you a momma” read some of the posters.

When SRC deputy president Thabo Shingange took to Facebook to announce the cancellation, not everyone welcomed the announcement.

Kamogelo Mosoeunyane asked: “How is Serrie affecting the rape crisis, though? Explain this to me because I seem to be the biggest idiot here.”

AfriForum Youth Tuks co-ordinator Jaco Grobbelaar commented: “The decision punishes those students who have worked hard to participate in a constructive student tradition instead of punishing a few individuals who cannot behave themselves.”

He said the cancellation decision was taken by management without considering any input from hostel leaders.

“The fuss around the incident is created by political parties who drive their own agendas on campus,” he said.

But Landless Bafana Mdluli wrote: “I was chair of res and I know the hard work behind Serrie, though I still find it a waste of time and money and believe cancelling Serrie is the right call.”

Shingange said the decision was taken on Wednesday night. The idea was to restructure the competition as a whole or even give it a new name with new principles if need be.

“Some students are not happy about the decision, because Serrie takes about three months, and they are complaining they spent a lot of time for it to just be cancelled,” he said.

Shingange said he sympathised with those who were not happy but cancelling the event was the right thing to do.

The university’s management also welcomed the decision and condemned the behaviour that took place on Tuesday.

“This will send a clear message that derogatory and offensive behaviour against women will not be tolerated,” spokesperson Candice Jooste said.

The competition was cancelled after it received massive negative attention countrywide because of the “sexist” posters displayed during the female group's performance.

The event took place hours after bare-breasted female students staged a protest against rape culture and sexual harassment on campus.

The posters and the behaviour of the male students were widely condemned.

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