South African students protest over use of Afrikaans
Stellenbosch students say Afrikaans language is favoured at their school and that its use promotes racism.
Hundreds of students at Stellenbosch University in South Africa have protested against the Afrikaans language being favoured at their school, alleging that it promotes racism.
Afrikaans is viewed by many South Africans as the language of the oppressors during apartheid and was formerly used as the language of instruction at Stellenbosch University, a school which used to be for “whites-only”.
Now, Afrikaans and English are supposed to be on equal footing at the university, but protesting students say lecturers favour Afrikaans.
“It isn’t simply about language as a teaching tool,” student activist Mo Shabangu told Al Jazeera. “It’s about language and how it connects to the institutional culture that continues in this apartheid spirit unabated.”
The university’s management has been summoned to appear before parliament to explain.
Al Jazeera’s Tania Page reports from Stellenbosch, near Cape Town.