SADTU condemns North West University ploy to ‘honour' Bantustan leader
The 1040 delegates to the 7th national congress of SADTU - representing 246,000 members - unanimously condemned in the strongest possible terms the decision of the Council of North West University (NWU) to ‘honour' former Bantustan leader, Lucas Mangope, by naming one of the Mafikeng campus student residences after him.
The University Council appears to be impervious to the sensitivities of the people of South Africa in relation to the role played by Bantustans in the oppressive apartheid system. Mangope was a servant of the apartheid regime and exercised repressive control over the people of the Bantustan, and the erstwhile University of Bophuthatswana.
His record of repression against students and staff - including violence, detentions and deportations - speaks for itself, and augers ill for any hope that NWU will champion freedom of expression and academic freedom.
The Council's decision is an insult to all those who fought for the inclusion of Bophuthatswana in the present South African democratic dispensation, and who suffered under the jackboot of the Mangope regime.
We can only conclude that North West University remains untransformed and is still dominated by the most reactionary ethnic interests in the province.
SADTU national congress pledged solidarity with all progressive forces at NWU and in the province, and to fully support the campaign launched by COSATU in the North West to overturn this decision.
Statement issued by SADTU General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke, October 8 2010
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