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AfriForum Youth steps in after suspension of NWU student

AfriForum Youth instructed its legal team this morning to investigate possible legal proceedings in connection with the temporary suspension of a senior student at the North-West University (NWU). The student is said to have openly objected to the content that was discussed during an orientation event. During the sessions, among other things, LBGTQIA+ rights were discussed.

Shaun Christie is said to have criticized and argued that students do not feel safe talking about Christianity, but that discussions about gender issues are allowed.

AfriForum Youth will now investigate the grounds for the student’s temporary suspension. According to information received, the student was suspended due to alleged disrespectful behavior. His suspension entails, among other things, that he may not enter the campus or use any facilities. He may also not participate in any academic proceedings or be entitled to any rights to which an NWU student may normally lay claim.

According to Ronald Peters, spokesperson for AfriForum Youth, the organisation emphasizes that students may not be prevented from expressing their opinion if they do not agree with certain positions or activities on campus. This case goes to the heart of freedom of expression, a constitutional right that must be protected in all democratic societies.

“We support the principle that universities should be places of open dialogue and different opinions, where students should not be suppressed, silenced, or punished for their personal beliefs. This student did not violate any other student’s rights, but his right to freedom of expression was however violated and his right to freedom of association was taken away from him and his fellow students. We cannot allow the management of a university to drive a narrative and not allow students to stand up against it if they do not agree with it,” concludes Peters.

AfriForum Youth has instructed its legal team to advise the student with his appeal against the suspension and will continue to be involved in the case against the university.