NWU student paper pulls story from Facebook

2015-09-01 11:36
(NWU)

(NWU)

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Potchefstroom - The North West University student newspaper was forced to remove a story from its Facebook page after comments bordered on "hate speech".

The student newspaper, Wapad, had posted a story on an ANC Youth League march at one of its campuses.

"Wapad has removed the report that was posted on Facebook... Many of the readers' comments bordered on hate speech," it said in a Facebook post on Friday.

It said it reserved the right to remove the post and wanted readers to be more responsible and tolerant with their comments.

"The NWU has a policy against racism and hate speech, as well as a human rights committee that handles complaints about these issues. Further, Wapad has the right to keep its journalistic integrity."

It said in another post that it apologised for failing to monitor the comments.

The comments on the ANCYL story were riddled with harsh racial terms.

Transformation

The African National Congress Youth League's march was about transformation at the institution.

NWU vice chancellor Professor Dan Kgwadi said in a statement on Monday that a series of discussions would be held with students on the future of the institution.

The topics included issues of race, language, sport, student life and social cohesion.

“All issues that divide or bind us need to be discussed openly and honestly. No points of view should be excluded. All our students, from whatever background, political persuasion or language, are important and must feel welcome on our campuses,” Kgwadi said.

“While student life may vary to some extent on the three campuses, all students want a safe, vibrant student life where human dignity and the observance of their rights and obligations are part and parcel of everyday experience.

“Let us talk about our fears and experiences. Let us get to know each other better. And let us find a way to make this university a beacon of hope. We can and must do it."

NWU professor Johannes Froneman said Kgwadi had been planning the discussions for some time.

"He [Kgwadi] said we need to get the students talking - let's move on it quickly. We realised that all over the country students are not happy. But whether there was a march or not, this initiative would have taken place," he said.

"We don't want to wait until some or other video appears."

The university came under fire early last year after a video emerged, showing images of students allegedly performing a Nazi style "sieg heil" salute during an induction.

Read more on:    nwu  |  mahikeng  |  racism  |  education

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