UFS students take a stand against racism and women abuse

Photo: Mark Steenbok

Hundreds of students gathered at the UFS’s Bloemfontein campus today to march against gender inequality, racism and discrimination.

Outgoing SRC president, Lindokuhle Ntuli, says the march came after incidents where an Auditing question paper had Afrikaans answers and when a security guard was allegedly sprayed with liquid by three white students.

Ntuli says they’re giving management one day to respond to their list of directives. If their issues have not been solved in two weeks, they might shut the campus down.

“Your response to this letter and directives will speak on your behalf, the call is genuine we are calling for transformation. If council fails to respond in favour of this letter on and before the 2nd of September then we will be forced to shut down the campus,” says Ntuli.

Tensions ran high at times when a group of the marchers struggled to deliver their memorandum.

Watch as a scuffle unfolds when the two groups clashed

Mosa Moerane from Embrace the Sisters says there is no concern for victims of gender-based violence at the university.

“When we raise issues that are related to women, gay people, lesbians and trans bodies, then suddenly people do not want to stand with us. They do not want deal with the very systematic and problematic nature of our exclusion.  It seems like we are selective in the issues that we want to deal with and today we say that all forms of oppression must fall,” says Moerane.

Acting rector, Nicky Morgan, says if there is concrete evidence of racism at the university they will go through the necessary disciplinary processes first before taking steps to let somebody go.

“We have decided as management to meet with the gender based group that brought the issues under our attention today. We will talk to them directly about these issues. Hopefully by tomorrow we will have good news in terms of what we need to do and how we need to address these issues,” says Morgan.

Mark Steenbok and Moeketsi Mogotsi/Courant News