ANCYL plans sit-in at CPUT's Wellington campus over alleged racism

2016-01-27 15:17
ANCYL logo. (Supplied)

ANCYL logo. (Supplied)

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Cape Town - The ANC Youth League says it is planning a sit in at CPUT's Wellington campus to show opposition to alleged racism at the Boland institution.

Mika Mahlaule, NEC member of the ANCYL, said on Tuesday that the sit-in was planned for next week, following numerous complaints from students and staff.

The university’s "exclusive language policy" was at the top of its list of issues, he told News24.

"They still use Afrikaans as their primary language of communication. This disadvantages the black students, many of whom have not been doing it as a subject since Grade 10," Mahlaule said.

But CPUT spokesperson Lauren Kansley disputed this.

"The language of instruction at CPUT is English, except for undergraduate BEd for teaching students at Wellington," she said.

"Mowbray - an exclusively Education faculty campus - trains teachers in English, while Wellington trains teachers in Afrikaans. The two campuses, therefore, supply teachers for all of SA where a great need remains for graduates in both languages."

Wellington Bachelor in Education graduates very often came from poor farming communities to study at the Wellington campus, Kansley said.

"After graduation many return to those same communities and use the multi-grade method of teaching. Multigrade allows learners of varying grades to be taught in one class and is critical for education in rural communities."

Unathi Mtshotwana, ANCYL convenor for the Dullah Omar region, said earlier this week that black students must "get up and walk out" when a class was given in Afrikaans.

"White students are passing more than our black brothers and sisters. It’s because they are taught in their language," she said.

"Why are they then not teaching in isiXhosa?"

Lack of transformation

Mahlaule further claimed there was a lack of transformation and that a number of black academics had resigned from the Wellington campus after being treated "badly" by white staff and students.

But Kansley said during the last three years, 13 black staff members had been appointed at Wellington.

"[This] includes the current Assistant Dean who is the first black Assistant Dean at Wellington, two secretaries and a senior researcher in the Multigrade Centre.

"No black lecturer has resigned from Wellington."

Political organisations, Mahlaule said, were also not allowed to operate and meet freely on campus.

"They first have to give their agenda to the university management who then decides whether they will be allowed to meet or not," he claimed.

Kansley countered that student activities fell under Student Services, and that campus management would not decide on such an issue.

"In the case of the Faculty, the Dean stresses that we have a very good relationship with the local SRCs on both campuses. In Mowbray, for the last two years, the local SRC is SASCO-led - which is an ANC associate - while at Wellington, the local SRC is led by Independents."

Mahlaule, however, insisted that the institution was "untransformed” and that the Youth League would descend on the campus next week.

"We are demanding change," he said, adding that a task team had also been established to look into the complaints received.

Read more on:    ancyl  |  cape town  |  education

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