DUT battles anti-jews call

2015-03-27 00:00

THE Durban University of Technology (DUT) senate has set up a task team to respond to students’ representations for Jewish students to be deregistered from the university.

DUT’s stance was that they rejected the request and that the call “undermines the most basic values and principles of the university”.

The action comes on the back of the students representative council’s (SRC) demand that Jewish students who did not support the Palestinian struggle, or who were sponsored by the Israeli government, be kicked out of the university.

The call was met with outrage by the university’s vice-chancellor, Professor Ahmed Bawa, who said the demand was totally unacceptable.

Professor Thenjiwe Meyiwa, registrar and secretary to the senate, said in a statement: “While the university encourages and defends the free expression of ideas, including controversial and contested social ones, this does not extend to include violence or hate speech that threatens and compromises the human rights of any individual or group of individuals.

“We oppose discrimination, whether on grounds of religion, nationality, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or any other arbitrary criteria. This is not only as a matter of ethical principle, but because these are antithetical to the very idea of the university as a safe and inclusive space for learning, free exchange of ideas, and positive social transformation.”

DUT said that it had “dealt decisively with the students involved in making this statement”.

Bawa had also met with the Jewish Board of Deputies to develop ways of addressing these problems, and conversations with the Human Rights Commission to discuss a collaborative approach have begun.

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