JESSE Hess’s mother, Brenda Miles (black pant suit), and her grandmother, Kathy Lategaan (wearing sunglasses), attend a service at UWC to pay tribute to the student, 19, who was found murdered last Friday, along with her 85-year-old grandfather Chris at their home. David Ritchie African News Agency (ANA)
So here we are today to claim ourselves

to claim our bodies

Claim them back from knives from jackhammers,

From axes, from guns, from bullets

and to rage, to rage against muteness

Against stupidity against the corrupt thoughts of men

We rage against cries, against yells

Against the misplaced desire for power

We rage against what you think a man is

Against your inward festering of destruction

This part of a poem read out by poet Antjie Krog, at the memorial service for Jesse Hess - the theology student at UWC who was murdered along with her step-grandfather at his house in Parow - sums up the Day of Rage in which thousands of people took to the streets of Cape Town’s CBD and campuses across the city as they protested against the ongoing violence against women and children in the country.

Scores of students brought traffic to a standstill. Police used stun grenades, water canons and tear gas to disperse angry and frustrated protesters.

At the gates of Parliament, students called for tougher laws to stop the scourge of violence against women.

UCT students along with students from various institutions came out in numbers holding placards reading, “my only sin is having a vagina” and “I don’t want to die with my legs open”.

UCT student Emily Shay, 20, said she felt failed by the government.

“The month of August was such a horrible month for women and things have reached a crisis in this country. I don't know what it will take for the government to do something,” she said, adding that the university grounds were unsafe. A number of men also joined in the protest.

UCT student Luke Attenborough, 20, said it was time for men to stand up in society.

“This problem has just been increasing and this tragic event, I feel, is the perfect platform for everyone to stand up and come forward. It’s important for men to be here as well,” he said.

The Total Shutdown: Intersectional Womin's Movement Against GBV staged a silent protest outside the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)
The Total Shutdown protest is among several protests and marches are planned for Wednesday including one to Parliament, and petitions are doing the rounds calling for stiffer sentences and even bringing back the death penalty. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)
Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)

Students then moved to the front where Police Minister Bheki Cele, along with UCT vice-chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng addressed them. Phakeng called on the government to offer a tangible solution to address the ongoing violence against women.

“We do not feel safe. Even public spaces are not safe. We want our leaders to come up with a plan to protect us,” Phakeng said.

A large crowd gathered outside the Cape Town International Convention Centre, where the World Economic Forum started, to protest against abuse and violence directed at women and children . The crowd of mainly young people from various civil community organisations and students from universities and schools across the city, chanted Struggle songs and held posters saying “enough is enough” and “stop killing women and children”.

The protesters said they were not willing to listen to any official and demanded that President Cyril Ramaphosa come out of the event to address them on how he was planning to stop the scourge of abuse.

A large group of mostly students took to the streets under the hashtag, aminext(#aminext). They protested at the World Economic Forum(WEF) taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre and later moved through Cape Town CBD. Picture Courtney Africa/African News Agency(ANA)
HEATED CONFRONTATION: Brave women come face-to-face with police officers. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency
Protests against gender violence started from Parliament and lead to the Cape Town International Convention Center where the World Economic Forum (WEF) is being held. Picture: Dylan Jacobs/ African News Agency (ANA)
Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)
PROFOUND: Protesters gather outside Parliament
Picture Courtney Africa/African News Agency(ANA)

At UCT, hundreds of students gathered for a memorial service for Uyinene Mrwetyana, the student killed in the Claremont Post Office allegedly by a teller. They were addressed by outgoing chancellor Graça Machel.

“There is so much pain in the air we are a society where women and children are not safe,” said Machel.

Family and friends of Mrwetyana were present at the memorial.

At UCT, hundreds of students gathered for a memorial service for Uyinene Mrwetyana, the student killed in the Claremont Post Office allegedly by a teller. They were addressed by outgoing chancellor Graça Machel. Video: Sukaina Ishmail/Cape Argus

Deputy Minister of Higher Educatin Buti Manamela, who was also present, said: “We should have harsher sentences for those found guilty of crimes, we must strengthen the criminal justice system It should be made easy to report rape, sexual harassment and other related crimes Social media is also being used to expose those perpetrators and officers who refuse to take these cases seriously.”

The main hall at the University of the Western Cape was packed as students turned up in their numbers to memorialise Jesse Hess.

“Today we are a community in mourning, but we are also very angry, today we say enough is enough,” said vice-chancellor Tyrone Pretorius.

The University of the Western Cape (UWC) held a special commemoration ceremony for first-year student Jesse Hess, 19, who was found murdered last Friday along with her 85-year-old grandfather Chris at their home in Victoria Street, Parow. Video: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)
The University of the Western Cape (UWC) held a special commemoration ceremony for first-year student Jesse Hess, 19, who was found murdered last Friday along with her 85-year-old grandfather Chris at their home in Victoria Street, Parow. Video: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)
The main hall was packed to capacity with many students standing in corridors and outside the venue. After the ceremony dozens of students made their way to the administration block to speak to university staff and hand over a memorandum. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)
The University of the Western Cape (UWC) held a special commemoration ceremony for first-year student Jesse Hess, 19, who was found murdered last Friday along with her 85-year-old grandfather Chris at their home in Victoria Street, Parow. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)
The main hall was packed to capacity with many students standing in corridors and outside the venue. After the ceremony dozens of students made their way to the administration block to speak to university staff and hand over a memorandum. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

Cape Argus