Department of Social Development 2022/06/08 - 22:00
Last Saturday, the University of Witwatersrand (WITS) in partnership with the Gauteng Department of Social Development and Community Safety hosted a Wits Active Pride Parade in honor of those who have been killed for their sexual preferences.This demonstration took place four days before the start of the International Pride Month, which is month of June.Students were joined by the residents who marched from the University campus in Braamfontein to the Constitutional Hill and back to demand that parliament pass the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill.The March was escorted by the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department. Homosexual, anti-apartheid activist and founder of The Gay and Lesbian Organization of Witwatersrand (The GLOW), Simon Nkoli was also remembered.Wits Deputy Dean of Students, Tshegofatso Mogaladi said the university takes pride in creating safe space for students to feel welcomed and accepted. Mogaladi added that during the emergence of Covid-19 pandemic, indicators highlighted how unsafe societies can be towards the queer community. The university is said to have housed students who were not accepted back into their communities by providing conducive accommodation for them.“When looking at mental health issues, South Africa is among the top 10 highest ranking suicidal societies in the world. A proportion of this phenomenon is largely attributed to the pressures emanating from close relationships such as intolerant families, abusive intimate partners and discrimination from friends,” added Mogaladi.
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