[lg policy] South Africa: Language fight at UP far from over - EFF

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Wed Mar 2 15:47:25 UTC 2016

Language fight at UP far from over - EFF
news/politics <http://www.iol.co.za/news/politics> /
02 March 2016 at 15:29pm
*By:* *Sakhile Ndlazi*

Pretoria - Members of the Economic Freedom Fighters student command (EFFSC)
from the University of Pretoria (UP) say their fight for language
transformation is far from over.

Their statement comes after university management met student leaders on
Monday to discuss solutions on the scrapping of Afrikaans as a medium on
instruction at the institution.

Negotiations between university management and the students deadlocked,
with another meeting scheduled for Saturday.

The student groups, including the DA, ANC and AfriForum Youth gathered on
Monday for feedback from university management on the ongoing language
dispute, but were disappointed when none was forthcoming. Instead, a
transformation lekgotla was scheduled for Saturday where issues about
revising the language policy would be discussed.

EFF Student Command chairman Kabelo Mahlobogwane accused university
management of delaying tactics instead of addressing the burning issue
immediately. “We had a lekgotla last year with the same list of demands and
didn’t reach an outcome. What makes the coming lekgotla any different?”
asked Mahlobogwane.

He also aired his dissatisfaction with the suspension of five EFF students
by the institution following the unrest which led to the university
shutting down its Hatfield and Groenkloof campuses.

“Out of all the people causing chaos during the pandemonium from different
student groups they only managed to nab EFF students, I think that is
unjust and biased,” he said.

UP spokeswoman Anna-Reetha Bouwer said Monday's meeting was more of a
planning session than attempting to reach a resolution. Issues around
language policies and violence were highlighted as topics of discussion for
Saturday’s lekgotla.

“The meeting on Monday was to engage the different student groups on the
lekgtla’s agenda, and also to assign a date and time.”

UP AfriForum Youth chairman Marthinus Jacobs welcomed the transformation
lekgotla and encouraged all interested parties to attend. ”I am happy that
the university is stepping up to try to resolve the language problem. It is
a step in the right direction.”

The campus seems to be calm and controlled, with law enforcement agencies
monitoring the situation.

sakhile.ndlazi at inl.co.za


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