18 March 2017

South Africa: 'I Am Afraid' - Afriforum Member Following Education Conference Chaos

University of Pretoria AfriForum campus co-ordinator Jaco Grobbelaar said he felt like his humanity was disregarded when the higher education national convention in Midrand was disrupted with calls for white people to leave.

"I am afraid. You look at chairs flying and I see my people in the corner... there was women there and I ran to make sure that they were okay," Grobbelaar told News24 after the incident on Saturday.

"My feeling is that they don't see us as being a part of anything anymore. They almost deny my humanity, our human dignity."

A delegation from lobby group AfriForum left the national convention after students denied them the chance to speak.

The disruptions continued when Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande attempted to speak.

The conference eventually had to be cancelled.

Grobbelaar said he saw no way to remedy the situation.

"It is a circus. There is no way we will solve the situation if we are not allowed to speak," he said.

"It is getting violent and I am not willing to risk my life to find a solution."

Grobbelaar said they would lay a complaint with the police after a student allegedly assaulted an AfriForum member.

Wits vice chancellor Adam Habib said there was a crisis higher education because of intolerance.

"We are not willing to listen to each other. We will not be able to find solutions to the crisis. If we don't resolve higher education's crisis we don't resolve the inequality in the society as a whole," he said.

Source: News24

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