Cape Town – Stellenbosch University is a “mini-apartheid island” in urgent need of change, South African Students’ Congress (Sasco), national executive committee member Luntu Sokutu said on Friday.
He was speaking outside one of the university’s administration buildings after Sasco led a group of students through the streets, in protest against the apparent lack of transformation at the institution and its language policy.
“There is an urgent need for radical transformation at SU,” he said.
“There is an Oranje there to accommodate all those Afrikaner racists who refuse to accept their defeat of 1994.”
The institution does not reflect the demographics of the country and excludes non-Afrikaans speakers, Sokutu said.
“Why do we celebrate June 16 when there are still students who are forced to learn in Afrikaans in SA? Are we not spitting on the graves of those youths who gave their lives to ensure that Afrikaans is not forced as a medium of instruction in institutions?” he asked.
“We want to make it clear that we don’t want a negotiated settlement to transformation at SU. We are not applying for transformation. It is a demand – one we must fight for.”
In Sasco’s memorandum, handed to university management, it demanded that transformation be speeded up and prioritised at the institution.
Rector and Vice Chancellor Wim de Villiers accepted the memorandum, saying the university was committed to this.
“The language policy is being revised and we have a task group looking at it. The findings will be presented to council at its next meeting scheduled for September 28,” he said.
De Villiers admitted one of the biggest challenges facing the institution was the lack of diversity among its lecturing personnel.