Panyaza Lesufi slams new Afrikaans university: ‘Don’t remind us of apartheid’
Gauteng MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi has slammed an Afrikaans university that is set to open late next year.
Taking to social media on Monday, Lesufi said that a "race-based institution" would fail in SA. Lesufi insisted that the university intended to segregate and remind the country of the past.
TimesLIVE reported that Lesufi had spearheaded efforts to rename schools in Gauteng that had the names of apartheid leaders.
Last month he removed former prime minister Hendrik Verwoerd's name from a school in Pretoria, changing it to Rietondale High School.
Lesufi also slammed the university for representing only one group of people, saying that “we have been here before don’t remind us what your ancestors used to say to us”.
If it accommodates all why the sod turning represent one race, we have been here before don’t remind us what your ancestors used to say to us that apartheid was good for us!— Panyaza Lesufi (@Lesufi) September 15, 2019
Responding to a comment that the intentions of the university are innocent, Lesufi said “non-racialism is the future”.
It’s not innocent unfortunately. They are angry because RAU, Tukkies, Stellenbosch University, etc are now accommodating other races and languages. We can’t go back to RAUs whether private or public, non racialism is the future. Let’s defend it!— Panyaza Lesufi (@Lesufi) September 15, 2019
According to Cape Talk, the R300m university in Pretoria has been funded by donations and trade union group Solidarity.
Speaking on the radio station, Lesufi said the idea of the university was started “out of anger” when universities across the country began changing their language policies to promote inclusivity.
“It’s very important to understand where we come from, that there was a certain language that was used to oppress people in this country,” he said.
He also defended himself against accusations that he was anti-Afrikaans, adding that he believed all languages should be treated equally.
“We're not saying this because we are attacking Afrikaans but because the message of 'we only need one language' is bad.”