'Racist' poster not from Sasco

2010-11-11 20:07

Cape Town - The contentious student council elections posters at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology were not written or put up by the SA Students Congress (Sasco), the organisation said on Thursday.

"The poster is a hoax and does not represent the views of our organisation at all. None of our structures made that poster," Sasco president Mbulelo Mandlana said in a statement.

"We are perturbed and disappointed that the AfriForum Youth has the temerity to believe that a racist poster purporting to express the views of Sasco is real and part of our policy."

Civil rights group AfriForum's youth body on Wednesday laid a charge of hate speech with Human Rights Commission against Sasco for the posters. They feature the words "One boer one bullet" and "Blacks only organisation (strictly South Africans)".

"The poster is racist, xenophobic and inciting," AfriForum Youth chairperson Ernst Roets said in a statement.

"Since the matter could not be resolved by talks, AfriForum Youth is left with no other option but to take it to the next level... to lodge a charge with the SA Human Rights Commission in Johannesburg."

'Anti-Sasco sentiment'

Mandlana said the poster was made by people who wanted to "de-campaign" Sasco.

"These things occur consistently in white campuses and usually produced by white racist students who want to portray Sasco as racist in order to mobilise anti-Sasco sentiment among students."

Mandlana said such posters were put up "so often that we do not have the time to refute every hoax that is produced by racists in our name.

"We do not have proof that the so-called poster has actually not been produced by AfriForum members in order to later cry foul against our organisation and present us as racists and xenophobes."

AfriForum said it had sent a letter to Mandlana after receiving complaints about the posters, to ask whether they reflected Sasco policy and, if not, to distance itself from the wording and take action against students involved.

Roets claimed Mandlana, in response, railed against AfriForum Youth during a media conference. Mandlana denied AfriForum had contacted him.

"If AfriForum Youth intended for us to collectively deal with the issue of the hoax poster, they would have engaged with us directly."

He challenged AfriForum to go ahead with its complaint.

"If AfriForum wants to take us to the Human Rights Commission for a hoax-poster, let them do so, they have time," Mandlana said.

- SAPA

Read more on:    afriforum  |  sasco  |  ernst roets  |  mbulelo mandlana  |  cape town  |  racism  |  hate speech
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