‘Reason won’t prevail’ in face-off between EFF and AfriForum Youth
Political analyst Piet Croucamp says if you have the EFF on the one side and AfriForum on the other, reason won’t prevail.
Picture: X/AfriForum Jeug
Picture: X/AfriForum Jeug
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There is no end to the spat between AfriForum Youth and the Economic Freedom Fighter Student Council (EFFSC) after the latest incident at the University of Pretoria involving protest stickers.
AfriForum Youth placed “No Whites Allowed/Blacks Only” stickers on the Pretoria campus, later saying they did it to highlight racial exclusion.
Last month, EFFSC members took to the streets of Hatfield to picket outside the university, following the suspension of eight of its candidates in the elections for the student council for allegedly contravening the election rules.
They also accused the university of being racist and said an incident where a group of white students called them monkeys and the k-word led to the EFF students’ suspension, adding the university was in cahoots with AfriForum Youth. This was not the first time students were accused of being racist at the university.
In 2014, two UP students were expelled after photos of them in domestic workers clothes with their faces painted black went viral.
Dr Benjamin Rapanyane, head of political studies and international relations at North-West University, said the AfriForum signs were a clear reminder of the apartheid years’ separation of people according to race.
“Any sign that seeks to take us back to those years seeks to do no good except to perpetuate the injustices of the past that sought to promote discrimination, segregation and bring back racial superiority and/or racism in its purest form.
“This should not be entertained in our rainbow nation where people coexist with others of different colours, backgrounds, rich and poor, all religions and multiple languages,” he said.
Political analyst Dr John Molepo said politicking was complex.
“Everyone structure would come with its own strategies, However, they should not be violating anyone’s right and also avoid racial lines.”
Molepo said what the youth of AfriForum allegedly did should be condemned as it may perpetuate fights among races.
Political analyst Piet Croucamp said if you have the EFF on the one side and AfriForum on the other, reason won’t prevail.
“We must be glad that we are not all like them. We don’t subscribe to that type of divisive way of managing complicated relationships.”
Croucamp said he hoped the day never arrived that AfriForum and the EFF speak on behalf of all South Africans.
“They are both deeply guilty of practising divisive politics. We need reason and practicum. We don’t need that type of behaviour that can only lead to greater conflict and harden the feelings in the run-up to elections.”
Croucamp said this was likely a micro-experience of a macro-event such as the 2024 elections.
AfriForum campaign officer Louis Boshoff said they considered beforehand how they would put pressure on the UP’s management to address the EFFSC’s actions on 27 September.
“If the UP takes firm action against the EFF members involved, it will not incite further unrest, but rather help to reduce unrest,” he said.
Boshoff said they would have preferred that the EFF put up stickers, rather than block entrances, burn trash cans and intimidate non-black students.
“However, we would prefer that there should be no such incidents and then it would not be necessary for us to react.”
Boshoff said the UP condemned the events on 27 September for the first time after AfriForum put up the stickers.
“In this respect, our action was successful, but the problem has not yet been completely resolved and we will continue to put pressure on the EFFSC to be deregistered as an association,” he said.
UP said it would “take immediate disciplinary action against those responsible for defacing the university’s property and advocating for racism in an institution of higher learning dedicated to the education and transformation of South Africa.”
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