| DeurAfriForum

University of the Free State must urgently investigate racist lecture

AfriForum Youth today sent an urgent letter to Prof. Francis Petersen, vice-chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS), to demand that an investigation be carried out on the UFS’s lecturer Dr Pedro Mzileni’s racist lecture of 25 July 2023. This comes shortly before the controversial lecturer’s planned follow-up lecture tomorrow (17 August). The letter stipulates clear reasons for this request, since AfriForum Youth is aware of Mzileni’s previous lecture as a guest speaker where he made racist statements bordering on hate speech. His divisive rhetoric appeared to be aimed at stoking the fires of racial division and animosity.

Mzileni addressed second year LLB students of African Customary Law at the UFS on 25 July on the theme coloniality, social justice and constitutionalism, but his lecture was fraught with a series of deeply inflammatory and prejudiced comments that fuelled racial division and hostility. Among other things, he said that white people are the enemy and referred to coloured and Asian individuals as “deputy white people”. Mzileni said that he wanted to expand further on this topic at a future event. The youth organisation now requests that the university management will ensure that students will be protected from another racist lecture.

“AfriForum Youth takes a strong stance against ideologically-distorted and racist content that is shoved down students’ throats on our campuses. We demand that the University of the Free State act urgently to ensure that Mzileni does not encourage division and hatred among students again tomorrow,” concludes René van der Vyver, spokesperson for AfriForum Youth.