EFF threatens Tuks to scrap Afrikaans

The Economic Freedom Fighters student command for the University of Pretoria. PHOTO: Facebook - EFFSC University of Pretoria Branch

Trade union Solidarity has called on the University of Pretoria to take action against threats made by the Economic Freedom Fighters student command (EFFSC) to ensure the institution is ungovernable if Afrikaans is not removed as a language of instruction.

On Tuesday, the EFFSC demanded that the institution scrap Afrikaans as a medium of instruction and accused the institution of dragging its feet in addressing the dual language system.

Solidarity’s executive general secretary Dr Dirk Hermann said they were informed by their members at the university that previous protests staged by the EFF were not peaceful.

“It is our understanding that the fierce protests have brought about a hostile working environment. It is with dismay that we have been informed that the university has as of yet not taken any pro-active steps to ensure the safety of our members, as employees of the university.”

EFFSC leader for the university, Kabelo Mahlobogwane said they were invited by management to a dialogue about the report concluded by the language task team.

“We are not going there to negotiate with them, but to get our point across.”

He said the Afrikaans medium would not be economically viable as resources would be doubled-up.

“UP spends about R100 million on Afrikaans every year. That money can be used to sponsor poor students. Afrikaans as a medium goes against the project of social cohesion as it creates two universities in one. Students are separated in class and at residences but are one day expected to work together.”

Mahlobogwane accused the university of maintaining the ‘apartheid Afrikaans culture’.

“Hence they still use the name Tuks, which stands for Transvaal Universiteit Kollege. We all know it is history. The name was used during apartheid.”

UP spokesperson Anna-Retha Bouwer said there were no violence or protest action at the university.

“The language policy is being reviewed and we will have a meeting on Friday.”

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