Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande’s efforts to transform universities on racial lines were part of the “total onslaught” against Afrikaans, the AfriForum Youth said on Monday.
“Extremist groups” like the EFF, student movements like Open Stellenbosch and Rhodes Must Fall and the failure to act against unruly students had led to the crisis at universities, AfriForum Youth national chairperson Henk Maree told reporters in Pretoria.
He was releasing the organisation’s National Prevention Plan for seven universities where Afrikaans was one of the mediums of instruction.
Lectures had been disrupted, students assaulted and property vandalised during protests against the dual English/Afrikaans language policy some students felt was putting non-Afrikaans speakers at a disadvantage.
Maree said EFF members, who were not students, were being let on to campuses to take part in the violence. At Elsenburg Agricultural College in the Western Cape students sang “kill the boer” last week, AfriForum’s Ian Cameron said.
Students would get self-defence training at those campuses where threats existed, Maree said. Private security companies and neighbourhood watch groups had been asked to help. However, because they were not allowed on campuses, they had to wait outside until they were needed.
While they would act with the “necessary resolve” to protect their members’ rights, everything would be done according to the law.
AfriForum would write to Nzimande and Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana to ask why they had not “exposed” attempts to scrap Afrikaans as a medium of instruction at tertiary institutions.
There would be protests and possibly a court bid to stop the EFF from resorting to violence on campuses and from making land grabs.
Maree said they rejected the documentary Luister (Listen)as a malicious attempt to promote a racist agenda at Stellenbosch University.
“The video is a conspiracy theory accusing people of racism, where no grounds for such an accusation exist,” he said.
The documentary was produced by four white male University of Cape Town students. In it several black Stellenbosch University students, and one white woman lecturer, recount their experiences of racism at the institution.
AfriForum Youth said the students in Luister lied and no attempt was made to get other perspectives.
Maree responds to Luister in his own YouTube video called Luister Weer (Listen Again). News24