AfriForum wants report on varsity

2014-06-27 08:27
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 report commissioned by the North West University (NWU) council into initiation practises at the university must be made available to AfriForum Youth, it said on Thursday.

"AfriForum Youth instructed its legal team to address a legal notice to the council of the NWU-Puk in which they request that the report... be made available to them," national chairperson Henk Maree said in a statement.

If this was declined, it would use the Promotion of Access to Information Act to get the document.

Earlier on Thursday, the council said in a statement it would not tolerate human rights infringements at the university.

"While serious efforts were made in the past to prevent initiation practices, the independent investigation revealed the reality and magnitude of the challenges facing the entire university community in this regard," it said.

Further management intervention needed

The council submitted a report to the minister of higher education and training in February after some students reportedly used the stiff-armed Nazi salute during an initiation ceremony.

In May, vice chancellor Dr Theuns Eloff stepped down. He was replaced by Prof Dan Kgwadi.

The council said further management intervention was needed because despite policies and procedures being in place "offensive practices" occurred, which violated human rights.

Maree said AfriForum Youth was told the report could not be made available as further investigation was necessary.

"It is unheard of to hand a report over to the minister if further investigation is still necessary," he said.

AfriForum Youth was concerned about the university's future following statements reportedly made by Kgwadi at a press conference on Wednesday.

‘Transformation cannot be forced’

"Kgwadi straightforwardly told the media that now is the time for transformation and that no initiation will be tolerated," Maree said.

"Transformation is [the] ANC's politically afflicted idea. Transformation cannot be forced, and if it is indeed forced, it will surely lead to uprising among students."

The university was not opposed to transformation merely because most students on campus were Afrikaans.

"We agree that no student's human dignity should be affected, but the good shouldn't be pushed aside with the bad," Maree said.

"There is a difference between a healthy student life and initiation, the council must realise that."
- SAPA
Read more on:    afriforum youth  |  nwu
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