[lg policy] South Africa: VIDEO: Violent clashes at Elsenburg College

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Thu Sep 3 15:49:23 UTC 2015

VIDEO: Violent clashes at Elsenburg College

STELLENBOSCH - AfriForum Youth has hired a private security company to
beef-up safety at the Elsenburg Agricultural College following violent
protests on the Western Cape campus.

The college has been hit by language policy protests since Monday. The
situation turned violent on Tuesday morning as protesters exchanged blows
with non-protesting students.

The clash was recorded on cellphone by a student. AfriForum Youth claims
several non-protesting students were injured.

“The security company will be at the campus before the end of day. We don’t
intend to take over the campus but we want to protect non-protesting
students from these hooligans. College management has totally lost control
of the situation, that is why we are stepping in,” said AfriForum Youth
national chairman Henk Maree.

Elsenburg Agricultural College head of communications, Petro van Rhyn,
confirmed the clash but said there was no need for AfriForum Youth to hire
a private security company because the institution “has normalised the

Van Rhyn said security would be bolstered and an interdict would be secured
to protect students rights and to ensure classes continued without

“The situation is back to normal. Police are monitoring the campus to
prevent further intimidation or violence among students. We have also taken
the legal route to protect the right to education. We believe that
differences should be resolved through discussion and not violence,” said
Van Rhyn.

No arrests have been made and classes had resumed by 11:00 am, according to
Van Rhyn.

Referring to the language issue, Van Rhyn said that progress has been made
on language policy and a task team had been set up to discuss this policy.

In the short term, lecturers would be duplicated and classes would be
lengthened to accommodate their being taught in English and Afrikaans.

In the medium term, a new language policy would be introduced, which would
be implemented in January 2016.

Van Rhyn said that students were aware of the new language policy, but a
small group wanting to be taught only in English were still opposing it.


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