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Friday, July 19, 2024

Minister Nzimande warns that discrimination has no place at any tertiary institution

Staff Reporter

THE Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Professor Blade Nzimande, has not merely voiced his disapproval of racially biased or discriminatory practices or cultures at any of the country’s universities or TVET colleges, he has vehemently denounced them, underscoring that such practices are utterly unacceptable in our society. 

“Such racist and discriminatory practices or cultures have no place in a free and democratic South Africa, and I wish to urge all stakeholders within our Universities and TVET colleges to work together with the government to eradicate such abhorrent practices or cultures, both in our academic institutions and in society,” he said. 

Minister Nzimande made the remarks last week after welcoming the final report into the Stellenbosch University Panel’s controversial residence.  

Furthermore, he said that the Department of Higher Education and Training would continue to work with the management of universities and TVET Colleges to ensure that they have effective policies, protocols, and structures in place to prevent or deal with any form of racist, discriminatory, or abusive practices within our universities or TVET colleges.

The Minister said DHET welcomes the report by the panel appointed by Stellenbosch University to investigate the discovery of disturbing contents in two rooms of the Welgenhof residence. 

The Minister not only supports the Rectorate’s endorsement of the panel’s principal recommendation to close the Welgenhof residence for the 2024 academic year and consider it for alternative use, but he also acknowledges the Vice Chancellor’s intention to table this recommendation for endorsement by the Council at its meeting of 24 June 2024. This shows his commitment to upholding the panel’s findings and recommendations. 

Earlier this year, when the Minister first became aware of the report on the disturbing items discovered at the Welgenhof residence, he immediately instructed the Department to contact Stellenbosch University’s management for an update on how the university was dealing with this disturbing report. 

The Minister further requested Stellenbosch University furnish him with a report on the outcome of the university’s panel investigation. 

Now that the panel has concluded its investigation and prepared a report, the Minister must study it, particularly its recommendations. Afterwards, he will share his views on the steps taken by the University. 

INSIDE EDUCATION

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