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Stellenbosch to face Parliament committee

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Stellenbosch University is expected to brief Parliament’s Higher Education and Training portfolio committee on Tuesday on progress in implementing its transformation plan and language policy.

This follows the release of a documentary entitled Luister (Listen), in which students tell of anti-black racism on and off campus.

Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande demanded answers from the University Council after seeing the documentary.

The issue was not only about Afrikaans as a language of instruction, which some students said excluded them from some subjects, but also about racist attitudes among some white students and academics, he said at the weekend.

These issues were discussed in a meeting with representatives of councils and managers of some of the former Afrikaans universities on April 16, and although they said they would work on them, students’ experiences showed otherwise.

He acknowledged efforts by Vice Chancellor Professor Wim de Villiers to remove discrimination, which included the “Open Stellenbosch” transformation initiative, and a transformation office and committee.

In a statement responding to the documentary last week, De Villiers said the university was working hard to address these issues, and had invited students to speak to him. He found some of the allegations – that the students weren’t being heard – “disingenuous”.

The ANC Women’s League president Bathabile Dlamini said on Monday that the organisation would march against racism at Stellenbosch University as well as the University of the Free State. News24

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