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SAHRC concerned about racism at UFS, calls for the university to act proactively to deal with this issue

22 February 2014

The South African Human Rights Commission (the Commission) is gravely concerned about the reported incidents of racism at the University of Free State (UFS).

It has just been brought to the attention of the Commission that a Bachelor of Commerce student was allegedly run over by a car and beaten by two white UFS students. The Commission has decided to launch a preliminary investigation into this latest incident and will in due course issue a statement setting out the way forward.

What is particularly disconcerting is that despite efforts made by various individuals and institutions, including the Commission, to deal with incidents of racism at the UFS, these incidents continue to occur.

With the country celebrating 20 years of hard-won democracy, it is deeply concerning that South Africa is still grappling with intolerance and hatred among racial groups.

The Commission welcomes the swift action by the university management in dealing with the perpetrators of this act by summarily expelling them from the UFS with immediate effect. This swift action will serve as a clarion call to would-be perpetrators of the same act, that racism has no place in our democracy.
We call on the law enforcement agencies to ensure that those responsible for acts of racism are dealt with decisively.

Following the Reitz 4 incident as well as the advertisement calling on white students to apply for accommodation still fresh in our minds, the Commission calls upon the UFS and its management to fully implement and adhere to the letter and spirit of the settlement agreement of the Reitz4 matter reached in 2011.


Issued by the SA Human Rights Commission

For interviews and further information, please contact:
Isaac Mangena
Head: Communications

For comments email info@sahrc.org.za [Back]

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