Jansen wrong to let Reitz Four back into UFS - NEHAWU

Union supports Minister Blade Nzimande's call for rector to reverse his decision


NEHAWU supports the call made by the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr. Blade Nzimande and Cosatu for the reversal of the decision made by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Free State {UFS}, Professor Jonathan Jansen to drop the university charges against the four racists students.

NEHAWU is convinced that the decision by the Vice Chancellor is actually creating more divisions than unity in our society and is therefore not achieving the goal of reconciliation that it was according to the university meant to achieve. We hope that the Professor was influenced by his ignorance of the seriousness of the allegations rather than being a possible beneficiary of a racist system. It is patronising and demeaning for the Vice Chancellor to call for black people to forgive these racists but then fail to demand that these racists apologise for their disgusting and nauseating actions.

The Professor should have learnt from King Canute that it is dangerous to believe everything that the praise singers and flatterers say because they are not always right and also that justice and vengeance are two totally deferent things.  What we are seeking for those workers is not vengeance but justice and we also find it insulting for the professor and his supporters to think that they can buy off the human dignity of black people.

NEHAWU has therefore taken a decision to demonstrate its opposition to the decision by mobilising our alliance partners and the broader South African public to participate in a series of activities that will be organised to demand the reversal of the decision.

This unilateral decision by the Vice Chancellor Jansen proves us right for calling for the review of the Higher Education Act of 1997, especially regarding issues of institutional autonomy and academic freedom behind which the established vested interests are hiding in blocking thorough-going transformation.

We want to observe an immediate dialogue, engagement and implementation of recommendations arising from the Report on Transformation, Social Cohesion and the Elimination of Discrimination in the Higher Education Sector.

NEHAWU is unwavering in its commitment to the advancement of transformation in all sectors where we organise and we will continue to vehemently oppose and fight racism in all its forms in this country without fear or favour because we have nothing to loose but our chains.

Statement issued by the NEHAWU communications department, October 22 2009

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