20 Feb

In 2020, I wrote An ode to the #RUReferenceList movement.

In 2017 Yolanda Dyantyi faced a lifetime academic exclusion that impacted her career and work opportunities. The exclusion happened after she spoke out about being raped and stood in solidarity with those who dared to speak their truths. Dyantyi’s disciplinary hearing followed months of protest at the university when The #RhodesReferenceList was complied and included the names of Rhodes students who had allegedly sexually assaulted women.

In its response to the protests, Rhodes University chose not to address the problems of rape culture on their campus but instead focused on persecuting Dyantyi. After the demonstrations, the accused attackers continued to attend lectures with the victims and survivors. These accused attackers were allowed to graduate, thus silencing the young victims/survivors. 

In 2018, a young student, Khensani Maseko, took her life after being raped, reviving the conversation about the rape culture at Rhodes.

In 2020, Yolanda Dyantyi was granted leave to appeal at a high court judgment, refusing to set aside the disciplinary conviction that led to her expulsion. 

The Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) has supported her in the legal matter. 

Who are Seri?

SERI works with communities, social movements, individuals, and other non-profit organisations in South Africa and beyond to develop and implement strategies to challenge inequality and realise socio-economic rights. They provide legal advice and representation, research services, and advocacy support to our clients and partners. They act to protect and expand the political spaces in which individuals and communities organise and press for social change.

On 21 February 2022, The Supreme Court Of Appeal will hear the matter Dyantyi vs Rhosded University, including Dr. Sizwe Mabizela and Wayne Hutchinson. Yolanda will appeal the decision of the Grahamstown High court to dismiss her review application and set aside the outcome of the disciplinary hearing process instituted by Rhodes University in 2017. 

The hearing will be live-streamed at 09h45 via the SERI Youtube page.

Life as a black feminist or activist in South Africa is not easy nor pleasant. Yolanda did not give up and continued to fight to have her expulsion from Rhodes University overturned. If you can show support, Yolanda has started an NGO called Archive Amamabali Wethu, https://www.facebook.com/YoliDee/posts/10215383305000786.

To assist with her daily expenses, her account is

Name: SY Dyantyi

Bank: Capitec


Yolanda, I still believe you and I still stand with you.

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