Panyaza Lesufi slams new Afrikaans university: ‘Don’t remind us of apartheid’

17 September 2019 - 10:55 By Unathi Nkanjeni
Panyaza Lesufi is insisting that the new university intends to remind the country of the past.
Panyaza Lesufi is insisting that the new university intends to remind the country of the past.
Image: VATHISWA RUSELO

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”.

Responding to a comment that the intentions of the university are innocent, Lesufi said  “non-racialism is the future”.

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.”


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