Students at Rhodes University have resumed their “shutdown” of the institution after expressing dissatisfaction with the university’s handling of the so-called #RUReferenceList. The list, purportedly naming alleged rapists at the university was circulated widely on social media on Sunday evening leading to disruptions on the campus as students tried to confront many of the men whose names appeared on the list.

Earlier today, the protesting students were addressed by Rhodes vice chancellor, Dr Sizwe Mabizela. According to reports by local student newspaper, Activate, Mabizela told the gathering that nothing could be done about the people whose names appeared on the list as they were not charged.

The newspaper reports that the protestors have resolved to continue with their attempts to “shutdown” the institution over the list which includes the name of a member of the Rhodes Student Representatives Council (SRC). Within the last two hours, groups of students have started erecting barricades on parts of the campus.


The #RUReferencelist was apparently circulated after pamphlets raising awareness about sexual assault and violence around campus were taken down.


On Sunday night, after the list circulated on social media, students attempted to locate some of the individuals in their residences. The university brought in the local police to ensure the safety of the men accused of rape. Earlier this morning, the protest mushroomed and extended to the disruption of some academic classes.

Reactions to the publication of the Rhodes ‘Reference List’ have garnered mixed reactions. While some are celebrating the bravery of the women who named their alleged perpetrators, others are calling it a dangerous act of vigilante justice.