The University of South Africa has roped in the SA Human Rights Commission to conduct an extensive inquiry into allegations of racism‚ sexism‚ harassment and unfair discrimination in its College of Law.
The commission‚ which kicked off its three-day public hearings at the university’s main campus in Pretoria on Tuesday‚ has received written submissions and will also hear oral testimony from current and former staff members and other interested parties.
Vice-Chancellor‚ Mandla Makhanya‚ in December last year asked the SAHRC to intervene amid brewing racial tensions in the law faculty. This followed a complaint from a staff member‚ who raised an alarm over racism and harassment.
Professor Melodie Labuschaigne formally complained to the university‚ alleging that her black colleagues were blocking her appointment as dean of the faculty because she was white.
But black academics have shot back‚ saying the College of Law was a white supremacy and white privilege stronghold‚ with black academics overlooked for promotion‚ transfers and academic appointments.