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#Tuks urged to include African languages

Some University of Pretoria students have called for Afrikaans to be scrapped as a medium of instruction.

The University of Pretoria has confirmed all lectures have been cancelled for the day after demonstrator’s boycotted classes on 22 February 2016. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

PRETORIA - Some University of Pretoria students say if the institution includes Afrikaans in its language policies, it should also include other African languages.

Yesterday, there was a standoff between students against Afrikaans being used as a medium of instruction and AfriForum.

The group tried to block students from holding a meeting regarding the institution's language policy.

Classes at the Hatfield campus were also cancelled for the day.

Some students feel Afrikaans students get preferential treatment because they're taught in their own mother tongue.

One said, "I do think that they should integrate all other languages. If I can't use my mother tongue, Afrikaans should also be scrapped."

Students were forced to run for cover after protesters started throwing rocks and bottles at each other.

AfriForum Youth is confident Afrikaans is not going anywhere.

The university has since proposed that all its lectures be offered in English only and that Afrikaans and Sepedi be used to provide additional support to students.

At the same time, groups representing the 'Afrikaans Must Fall' movement at the university say they do not want normal university activities to continue until their demands are agreed to, and a time frame is given.

The groups, which include the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) student command, UP Rising and the university's South African Students Congress (Sasco) branch met last night, where they discussed a way forward following clashes with members of AfriForum Youth.

The EFF student command's Kabelo Mahlobogwane says they are not willing to negotiate their demands and the university must take them seriously, or activities will remain suspended.

"We're going to make sure that nothing continues as normal while the black students are still marginalised and oppressed. We've agreed that Afrikaans is going to fall."

UP Rising spokesperson Pumelo Rafebopye says their demands are clear and lectures cannot continue until they met.

"It's not about a racial issue, it's really just about the language policy issue; a language policy that ensures that certain people have privileges and some have to work harder in order to achieve what they seek to achieve."

WATCH: UP shutdown after stand-off over Afrikaans

Meanwhile, the Hatfield campus remains closed today.

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