UP, Stellenbosch: 'Dark day for Afrikaans speakers', says FF Plus

Cape Town – The day the University of Pretoria and Stellenbosch University adopted new language policies would be remembered as a dark day for Afrikaans speakers in the country, the Freedom Front Plus has said.

FF Plus Advocate Anton Alberts said the language policies made a mockery of settlements that were reached before the 1994 elections.

Both universities announced the adoption of the new policies on Wednesday.

In Pretoria, the university said English would be used as the medium of instruction and Afrikaans would be phased out gradually.

In Stellenbosch, the university said their new policy made provision for students who prefer to study in Afrikaans, while also improving access to education for students who are proficient in English only.  

Alberts said political expediency was the driving force behind the decision.

"Afrikaans universities and students have always been highly regarded on an international level and the language was never a restriction on achievements. The opposite is however true. This decision to trample Afrikaans was taken intentionally.

"Demographically, the US [Stellenbosch] finds itself in a dominantly Afrikaans environment and so too, the UP, where Afrikaans is the second largest language in the Tshwane Metro, next to Sepedi," he said.

He called the phasing out of Afrikaans an abuse of the human rights of all Afrikaans speakers in the country, saying the party would be taking steps to challenge the decision at universities and in Parliament.

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