Racial powderkeg awaits Zuma in FS

Michael Mathlakudi

Michael Mathlakudi

Students at the University of Free State have voiced worries over a possible "racial war" erupting when ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma delivers the keynote address tomorrow at the annual public management commemorative lecture.

Despite the lecture's theme of reconciliation and nation-building, Zuma's address comes amid simmering racial tensions at the university.

White students have been protesting against forced integration at residences and have highlighted "cultural differences" as causing tensions .

One student who refused to be named, said there is no way "we can share a room because of our cultural differences.

" I do not have a problem with blacks, but we are from different environments, and that is going to make things difficult."

Mokgadi Kganakga, a representative of the South African Students Congress (Sasco), the management of the university and the dean of students held meetings with the students' representative council , house committees, student organisations and house wardens to ensure that racial integration took place.

Sammy Khumalo, a former student, said: "There's clearly bad blood between blacks and whites on the campus, and if nothing is done to address fears, we will see racial war."