My name is Mosa Moerane and over the last week much has been said about me, around me and concerning me. It is unfortunate that I have to write this but someone took it upon themselves to violate my dignity and privacy by using my name in a series of rape accusation tweets.
I am a 27-year-old woman pursuing a Law degree while holding a position as a Research Assistant. I possess a BA Management degree and over the last 7 years I have worked in various roles in the private and higher education sectors. My interests lie in advocacy, human rights and black feminism. In the past four years I have worked as a student activist and advocated against gender-based violence, discrimination and exclusion. My most significant roles however are as a daughter and the eldest sister to two incredible girls. The above is significant to mention because I am aware of the very serious function that my infantilization and invisibilization play in diminishing my humanity and therefore discrediting my experiences, pain and voice.
I do not have a Twitter account and have been without one for some months now. It therefore came as a shock to me to discover that someone was using an anonymous account to make rape accusations and was citing my name in them. I would like to call upon the person to remove those tweets, simply because they have caused me unspeakable pain and retraumatization. The scourge of gender-based violence has been a prominent point of national conversation and I have learnt that Twitter was no exception. I initially made the decision to refrain from participating in the conversation, not out of disinterest, but rather as a way of protecting my mental health against retraumatization. This was shattered on Tuesday 3 September 2019 when I learnt about the aforementioned tweets. I couldn’t make sense of how anyone could be so unthinking and cruel. And to be sincere, I still can’t make sense of it.
I have never publicly shared my experience of gender-based violence because I am aware of how we handle people’s traumas as a society and I had no desire to have mine be treated as a site of spectacle for people’s fleeting attention and entertainment. Many parts of me were broken by that experience including my sense of bodily autonomy, trust and a once treasured friendship. I have gone to great lengths to find healing and closure, however right now it feels like all that work has been undone. I am back to the panic attacks, paranoia about my safety, inability to concentrate, hypertension, and the desire to remain in bed to hide from the world.
I have understood from the beginning that there would be no justice for what I went through. I study and interact with our criminal justice system enough to know this. And even if I didn’t, you only have to look at our reporting and conviction rates to see this. I was also nervous about approaching my religious community for support as the underlying doctrine of our churches is patriarchal and I didn’t trust that I would be received with sensitivity or care. So I sought justice in another way: in finding closure, peace and healing so I could move forward with my life. This began with seeking an acknowledgement of the hurt and pain I had been caused through an apology- which I received and accepted. But an apology doesn’t mean something didn’t take place. It also follows that in life, actions have consequences.
I will not be made to account for anything outside of my actions or instructions. I will not be burdened with responsibility for a Twitter account that has maliciously made my life a subject of public dissection and undressing. I will not account for the consequences that arise from its existence and utterances. I refuse to be burdened with coming forward for the protection of reputations, names, careers etc. when nobody has given consideration to mine or at the very least my well-being.
In this country we make victims pay for being violated. They are the ones who go into hiding, they are the ones who are burdened with the cost of healing traumas they did not ask for, they pay by having their identities reduced to “survivor/ victim”, thereby locking them in that moment forever. The feeling of disempowerment is crippling.
With that being said, I would like to extend my gratitude to my loved ones who have not only offered me strength, fortitude and comfort but have respected my process and allowed me the time to internally deal with everything that has happened. I am thankful for their love and grace towards me. And I am sorry for the hurt that all this has caused them.
In conclusion, as I have stated, I am deeply hurt that this has become public. Not because of any feelings of shame but because this is my personal life and I deserve the dignity to choose what I make public and what I don’t. I have had that right stripped from me and my narrative being hijacked for reasons that are still unknown to me. While I initially hoped that if I let this run its course then it would blow ever, I learnt on Saturday 7 September 2019 that it hasn’t. I would like to return to the work of healing from this. I thought I had made significant strides in that regard, but it seems I was wrong and this experience has highlighted that to me. I would like to thank everyone for the space and privacy they will afford me to achieve this. Therefore, this will be the only statement I make on this matter.