'Language doesn't belong to an institution' - FFP on Afrikaans claims at SU

The South African Human Rights Commission is looking into complaints received that students were being prohibited from speaking Afrikaans in private spaces such as residences, on digital platforms such as WhatsApp and even on park benches in front of student residences.

FILE: Stellenbosch University. Picture: @stellenboschuniversity/Facebook.com

CAPE TOWN - The South African Human Rights Commission's inquiry into the alleged prohibition of the use of Afrikaans at Stellenbosch University continues on Tuesday.

Monday's session included Afrikaans interest groups, such as StudentePlein, Freedom Front Plus's Pieter Groenewald and the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch.

The commission is looking into complaints received that students were being prohibited from speaking Afrikaans in private spaces such as residences, on digital platforms such as WhatsApp and even on park benches in front of student residences.

READ MORE: DA accuses Stellenbosch University management of being anti-Afrikaans

The Freedom Front Plus's Pieter Groenewald said that they had requested the commission to determine the right facts then they would make some recommendations to solve the language issue at the university.

“People should be permitted to use their language, specifically when it’s private. Language does not belong to an institution, it belongs to the person, therefore they can not put limitations on that,” he said.

André Gaum, commissioner at the South African Human Rights Commission said that the students had complained of various rights violations.

“They complained of other rights including human dignity, including how it made that made them feel inferior, freedom of association so language issues may sometimes also go further than only the language rights as such,” Gaum said.

He said that after all the interviews had been completed, they would complete their report.

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