AfriForum Youth ask NWU to reject Nazi report

2014-06-19 06:22
First year students at North West University's Potchefstroom campus are photographed doing an apparent Nazi salute. (Beeld)

First year students at North West University's Potchefstroom campus are photographed doing an apparent Nazi salute. (Beeld)

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Johannesburg - The North West University's council must reject a report into an alleged Nazi-style initiation ceremony, AfriForum Youth said on Wednesday.

"The report clearly discriminates against all Afrikaners and may even constitute hate speech," national chairperson Henk Maree said in a statement.

"Should this request be denied, we will look into the possibility to hold council accountable in terms of the Equality Act."

He said AfriForum Youth had asked its legal team to send a letter to the council with its request.

The council confirmed on Wednesday it had received the letter.

"I can confirm that the letter has been received by the council chairperson, Mr Peet van der Walt, and it will be taken to the full council meeting scheduled for 19 and 20 June for further instructions," spokesperson Louis Jacobs said.

Earlier this month, the council said it had received the report and needed more time to study its content and recommendations.

The report follows an investigation into alleged Nazi-style stiff-arm salutes first-year students made during an initiation ceremony at the Potchefstroom campus in February.

The report would be finalised and handed to Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, who asked for the initial investigation.

The team who compiled the report investigated possible "cultural, induction, orientation, initiation and demeaning practices, including acts of fascism and nazism, that seemed to exist at the Potchefstroom Campus under the tacit approval by the university management".

The team was set up in March and asked to investigate whether there was a "culture of intimidation, harassment, fear and purging" against staff and students who tried to stop such practices.

The task team included SA Human Rights Commission member Leon Wessels, NWU human rights committee chairwoman Rehana Rawat, political analyst Somadoda Fikeni, and nuclear power expert Bismark Tyobeka.

Maree said the NWU council was expected to meet on Thursday.

"It will become clear from the answers given by council and the response of the minister whether our request has been heeded," he said.

- SAPA

Read more on:    blade nzimande  |  mahikeng  |  education
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