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Maties pressured to speed up transformation

On Wednesday, a group of protesting students demonstrated outside the Ou Hoofgebou.

Some students and staff at Stellenbosch University want the newly elected rector to speed up the process of transformation at the university. Picture: Monique Mortlock/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Some students and staff at Stellenbosch University want the newly elected rector to speed up the process of transformation at the university.

On Wednesday, a group of protesting students demonstrated outside the Ou Hoofgebou where the official inauguration ceremony of rector-elect, Professor Wim de Villiers, took place.

#OpenStellenbosch The group is now standing in front of the Ou Hoofgebou where the ceremony will take place. MM pic.twitter.com/eKN11km8Uw

De Villiers follows in the footsteps of former rector Russell Botman who died last year.

During his tenure, Botman had been active in tackling issues of transformation with specific focus on the university's language policy.

Although the university had been aware of the group, 'Open Stellenbosch', plans to stage a demonstration at the inauguration, no one could predict it would unsettle proceedings.

#OpenStellenbosch What was supposed to be a silent protest, quickly changed. MM pic.twitter.com/YiCGas1vte

The group had adhered to their leaders' instructions to remain silent and peaceful, but soon they erupted in loud shouts as soon as the academic procession made their way into the venue.

Student Jojo Alah says the new rector should focus on making all students feel welcome, starting with changing the language policy.

The new rector says he supports the students and staff in this movement.

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