‘Students must not retreat in struggle against institutionalised racism’

Tuks remains closed after students calling for the end of Afrikaans clashed with AfriForum members.

FILE: Students clash with police during demonstrations over the use of Afrikaans at the University of Pretoria. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Students Congress (Sasco) says students must not retreat in their struggle against institutionalised racism at universities which still afford more privileges to Afrikaans speakers.

The organisation has held a briefing at Luthuli House in the Johannesburg CBD responding to what it calls the "racist taunting and abuse of black students" at the University of Pretoria (Tuks).

The university remains closed today after students calling for the end of Afrikaans at the institution clashed with AfriForum members.

Sasco says Afriforum is using apartheid tactics to protect Afrikaans while masquerading as a civil rights movement.

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Sasco President Thabo Moloja says Vice Chancellor Cheryl de la Rey must urgently address the language policy to protect black students against racists.

"The racist ones are those who have been attacking black students as they peacefully demonstrate for their rights in those institutions. Those are the racists we have a problem with."

National organiser, Lwando Majiza, says until Afrikaans falls, they will continue to disrupt the university's activities.

"We are going to disrupts Afrikaans classes. Now is the time for us to actually have one medium of instruction."

Sasco says while they welcome discussions with management, they will not negotiate with Afriforum.