Black students of the University of Pretoria (UP) and the University of Free State (UFS) have held protests over what they termed racist policies and the use of Afrikaans as a language of instruction.To this, the South African Students Congress (Sasco) has vowed to ensure that all higher education institutions are transformed, at all cost.
Sasco president Thabo Moloja had at a media briefing, said that they were not interested in any negotiation with Afriforum in matters relating to the violent race and language protests taking place in universities because they see the Afriforum as a racist organization.
“We don’t plan to meet them. AfriForum is masquerading as a civic organisation, but it’s not. AfriForum was created to protect white privileges and apartheid policies. Transformation will happen at the University of Pretoria whether AfriForum likes it or not.” Moloja said.
Moloja pointed out that the recent protests taking place in the universities were different from last year’s #FeesMustFall as the former was geared towards financial exclusion experienced by most blacks and working class students. Change of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction touches on Afrikaans privileges (which is) what AfriForum stands for.
“White students need to understand that this is not a battle against Afrikaans. Until such a time that those who have been comfortable with privilege recognize that it is wrong to sit there and benefit unduly, then we will be never be liberated.”
About 14 UP students have been arrested at the weekend when black and white students clashed over the language policy and on Tuesday, students at UFS vandalized and set alight the statue of apartheid-era president CR Swart.
The destruction of the statue took place a while after a Varsity Cup match between UFS and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University was called off after protesters disrupted it leading to a huge fights between spectators and the protesters.
Meanwhile, the Afriforum’s Youth national spokesman Ian Cameron disclosed that against the believe of the Sasco, ”AfriForum Youth can no longer watch while certain student groups wage their racist war full of hate speech against us, while threatening the safety of other students.
Cameron further pointed that the Economic Freedom Fighters must stop all their attacks on Afrikaans students and the university is not able to prevent this violence if not, AfriForum Youth will continue to mobilize and protect students. “The university can start the process by suspending violent EFF members and not allow any demonstrations on campus,” he said.