I too have been a victim of discrimination in Stellenbosch - SRC head

2015-08-31 11:08
Stellenbosch University SRC chairperson Axolile Qina. (Supplied)

Stellenbosch University SRC chairperson Axolile Qina. (Supplied)

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Cape Town – Axolile Qina, newly-elected chairperson of Stellenbosch University's SRC, says he too has experienced discrimination in the student town.

University management will on Tuesday appear before the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training to table their transformation plans after allegations of racism at the institution.

The parliamentary meeting was prompted by the widely-circulated documentary, Luister (Listen), in which Stellenbosch University students and lecturers tell of discrimination on and off campus.

Rector and vice-chancellor Professor Wim de Villiers last week said he welcomed the invitation. He added that the university would subsequently also provide feedback to Dr Blade Nzimande, minister of higher education and training, on its transformation challenges, on the progress made, current initiatives and future plans.

Qina told News24 that he was blocked from entering a nightspot in Stellenbosch in 2011.

“I wasn’t allowed into a club in my first year and was asked for my student card by security to see if I was actually a student on campus,” he said, adding that transformation would be a key part of his tenure as SRC chairperson.

‘Crossroads’

He said his vision was to "unite the campus" and "change the mind-set of students to a human consciousness".

“We are at a crossroads, not only at Stellenbosch, but in our country, and there are going to be some big challenges on the road ahead, but I am not one to shy away from a challenge. I am looking forward to this opportunity.”

Qina, who is studying for a master's degree in theology, said it was important to embrace the diversity that the campus offered.

"But I have also challenged the exclusive behaviour that infringed upon the human value of my fellow students," he said.

Last week, committee chairperson Yvonne Phosa said they had noted "with serious concern the allegations of racism and violence" at the campus.

"We are 21 years into a democratic South Africa and such alleged acts certainly have no place in our society."

She said while they were aware of some measures that had been put in place, such efforts had to be "sped up" in light of the allegations revealed in the Luister video.

Read more on:    stellenbosch university  |  cape town  |  racism  |  education

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