UP distances itself from Afrikaans-only residences

The University of Pretoria (UP) says it does not condone discrimination on any basis and has distanced itself from two privately owned Afrikaans-only student residences.

It is said Sonop and De Goede Hoop have been banned from taking part in any of UP's traditional competitions this year.

One of these - a whites-only residence, De Goede Hoop has been ordered by the CRL Rights Commission to open up accommodation to all races following a hearing, says community activist Yusuf Abramjee.

Abramjee laid a complaint with the CRL last year after finding the residence was exclusively for Afrikaans and Christian students. He and other complainants argued that the residence was unconstitutional.

When I went to the people that run this organisation mainly Afriforum and others, and I looked at the admission policy, the criteria was very clear. You had to write an essay in Afrikaans, it was only for Afrikaans Christians and at the time to my knowledge, not a single person of colour was admitted into this reference.

Yusuf Abramjee, community activist

Yesterday morning I got a letter confirming that the findings had been made and the CRL commission ruled that the De Goede Hoop residence should be open to all races. they said they had an inspection and didn't find a single person of colour.

Yusuf Abramjee, community activist

The university's spokesperson Rikus Delport says although the residences house UP students, the institution has no ties with them.

The only reason I know about Sonop is because Sonop had a relationship with the University of Pretoria a long time ago and we have been in talks with them about their transformation policies. I do not know where the majority of students at De Goede Hoop go to. They have got nothing to do with us. It is a private residence.

Rikus Delport, UP spokesperson

We immediately condemned the practices at the Goede Hoop residence and we came out and said we would never ever condone something like that because it is against our transformation policies.

Rikus Delport, UP spokesperson

The majority of our residences, the population of our residences are more than 60% black students.

Rikus Delport, UP spokesperson

Delport insists the university is committed to transformation.

We don't know what is going on in private residences. We can only ask students to adhere to our policies and our procedures when they come onto campus. There is a huge backlog of accommodation in this country, so as a university it is not our place to tell students where they should stay and where they shouldn't.

Rikus Delport, UP spokesperson

Click on the link below to listen to the full interview...


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