Titled “Nazi claims: Correct to avoid fertilisation of the learning institution for similar incidents (sic)”, this is a brief letter emailed to Dr Theuns Eloff, vice-chancellor of the NWU, this morning at 03:08 (I couldn’t sleep).
Dear Mr. Ellof (sic),
Last week when I saw the Beeld frontpage, I wished my Afrikaans – coming from Northern Cape – was as fluent as they come. But it wasn’t. So I wished at that time that someone could translate the report for me as I found it quite interesting. It therefore came as a shock what the report contained. Even shockingly, the North West University response to the report was not convincing at all, in my view.
As a proud graduate of the university’s Mafikeng campus, I was therefore saddened that my former peers were doing such gestures in the name of “innocence”. The Higher education department’s defence of the university is also inviting. I fail to understand how those students failed to have known what their action (or lack thereof) would have invited from the general public.
Although, I must say, I was never subjected to this or any kind of “initiation” at the university, it is worrying that these “initiations” still happen – 20 years into democracy. Or maybe that’s because Mafikeng campus is black-dominated while Potchefstroom campus is white-dominated?
But whatever the case, these seeming Nazi tendencies masked as “innocent” need to be arrested by university management as failure to do so leaves the learning institution a fertile ground for other racist and apartheid gestures. I’m however glad you’ve put measures in place to deal with such matters.
I trust you find this in order, especially from proud graduate of your institution.
NB: I found Hitler in Potchefstroom by Thorne Godinho a very interesting piece and I would recommend you read it too.