[lg policy] South Africa: Afrikaans is under threat at Tuks

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Fri Nov 6 16:47:32 UTC 2015

 Afrikaans is under threat at Tuks November 5 2015 at 04:36pm
By Ntando Makhubu [image: iol news pic PN UP De La Rey2 (Read-Only)
(Read-Only)] PRETORIA NEWS University of Pretoria Vice Chancellor Cheryl de
la Rey addresses students protesting against the universitys proposed fees
at the institution. Photo: Oupa Mokoena

Pretoria - A storm is brewing at the University of Pretoria over the
perception that the intention to review the institution’s language policy
is in fact a ploy to remove Afrikaans as a medium of instruction at the

The Gauteng youth wing of the Freedom Front Plus (FF+) on Wednesday accused
vice-chancellor and principal Professor Cheryl de la Rey of caving in to
the pressure exerted by a few unruly students who do not want the language
used in lectures.

The party’s provincial youth leader Jean Kriek said: “She is a coward who
is allowing herself to be bullied by a bunch of no more than 100 students.”

He said De la Rey’s indication that she would review the language was an
obvious attempt to exclude Afrikaans from Tuks, in a battle they had been
fighting with her over many years. Kriek vowed that they would take the
university to court if their suspicions proved true.

‘We have been in court over this countless times and we will go back again
to maintain the place Afrikaans has at Tuks,” he said.

He said the FF+ had evidence that many students on Tuks campuses did not
mind the presence of Afrikaans. “A majority of the black students really
don’t mind; it is a few unruly students who have taken it upon themselves
to cause chaos at our expense,” he added.

But university spokeswoman Anna-Retha Bouwer said the review had nothing to
do with any particular language. “The vice-chancellor has undertaken to
review the language policy in its totality,” she said.

Consultations with the senate, the council and all stakeholders, including
the Department of Higher Education, had been initiated by De la Rey, she
said. An internal task team had been appointed and reports on the matter
expected by the end of the year.

“Assumptions should not be made as to the outcome at this stage. All
stakeholders will be consulted on the way forward,” said Bouwer.

“Afrikaans was not in any way targeted by the investigation,” she added.

But Kriek said the battle to kick the minority language off campus was
evidenced by the treatment of white female students by small pockets of
black students.

“They were captured on video yelling obscenities at them outside the gate
last week, saying stuff I would not even be able to repeat,” he said.

According to the youth leader, the situation around the language issue had
become racial: “It is no longer about the language, these students have
crossed that line,” he said.

He said the FF+ was convinced that De la Rey had plans to exclude
Afrikaans: “How can she bow to the pressure of fewer than 100 students in
an institution of more than 40 000 students?” he asked.


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