Nzimande must act with urgency against Tshwane university violence: Afrikanerbond

The chairman of the Afrikanerbond‚ Jaco Schoeman‚ said on Thursday he hoped the Minister of Higher Education‚ Dr Blade Nzimande‚ as well as the parliamentary portfolio committee on higher education and training‚ would act with the same urgency at the Tshwane University of Technology with which they acted on “alleged racism at the University of Stellenbosch”.

 “The haste with which they issued statements and summoned the management of the University of Stellenbosch to explain themselves about the alleged racism that has been exposed in a questionable video‚ with an equally dubious agenda‚ speaks volumes about the agenda to cast suspicion on anything Afrikaans‚” he said.

 Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training recently said it would call the Stellenbosch University management to an urgent meeting in light of allegations of racism and violence at the institution.

This followed the release of the so-called Luister video.

Released in August‚ the Luister video is a documentary distributed via social media which shows how Stellenbosch University students are allegedly still exposed to the dehumanising experiences of racism and other forms of discrimination. It is a series of interviews with students who talk about their personal accounts of race-based discrimination and even violence at the university.

Schoeman said‚ “If there was racism the university (Stellenbosch) must be granted the opportunity to deal with the matter properly and to take action‚ if necessary.

“It is‚ however‚ a totally different matter when a university changes from the battle of ideas to a literal battlefield fueled by political leaders. It does not belong in any educational institution.

“The minister’s deafening silence on the violence at the Tshwane University of Technology‚ speaks volumes about his fear of action and action against Mr (Julius) Malema‚” he said.

“We also trust that the Human Rights Commission will act against ongoing inflammatory and inciting statements by Mr Malema. His call to EFF representatives: ‘Fighters attack‚ attack’ has been repeated in media interviews today (Thursday).”

The Economic Freedom Fighters leader on Wednesday visited Tshwane University of Technology campuses in Pretoria to garner support for his party’s student command ahead of student representative council elections. His visit at the main campus‚ however‚ descended into chaos after EFF supporters faced off with Congress of South African Students members‚ and Malema ordered fighters to protect the EFF meeting.

Schoeman said‚ “To blame racism and to seek racists behind every bush is outrageous. Dr Nzimanda’s obsession with race at universities‚ especially where academic excellence is pursued‚ is in stark contrast to other universities which are literally demolished by war zones for political purposes.

“South Africa needs academic leadership‚ not thoughtless and divisive statements.”

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