Deception, division and the estrangement of Puk students

AfriForum Youth condemns the video message of Prof. Fika Janse van Rensburg, Deputy Vice-chancellor of the North-West University’s (NWU’s) Potchefstroom Campus, that was posted on Facebook on 22 January 2018.  

This video addresses two issues, namely the University’s language policy, and, according to him, that first-year students feel their individualism and freedom of association are being violated. The NWU management did, in response to this, prohibit hostels from wearing any hostel wear between 8:00 and 17:00 during the registration and orientation programme (R&O programme).

“Parents dropped off their children at the Puk with an easy mind, because they were deceived by Prof. Fika and the NWU management into believing that their children will be studying at the Puk with its rich student life and unique campus culture. It is currently most definitely not the case,” says Ohann Fourie, AfriForum Youth’s National Coordinator for Campus Structures.

Afrikaans speaking students were asked to adjourn a meeting which Prof. Dan Kgwadi, Vice-chancellor of the NWU, had with a certain group of students in the Sanlam Auditorium on the Puk campus, after which he spoke only with the non-Afrikaans speaking students.

“Don’t these types of actions particularly create division that lead to the estrangement of a certain group of students? The greater majority of the group first-years that were asked to adjourn, said they were satisfied with the course of the R&O programme,” says Fourie.

AfriForum Youth is of the opinion that the R&O programme worked and achieved success in the past regarding the promotion of unity among students. It is also during this time that students get the first taste of this Puk culture. The same culture described by Prof. Fika in his video as being only an existing culture.

“‘Integration means we must learn from each other’, was Prof. Fika’s words in the video, but why is more attention paid to the opinions of individuals than that of the majority of the first-years at the Puk? The decisions being enforced currently, however, contradict what Prof. Fika says in his video,” concludes Fourie.