Human Rights Commission to probe Stellenbosch University language issue

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The South African Human Rights Commission in the Western Cape says it has initiated an investigation into the language issue at Stellenbosch University.

The commission says it has received a number of complaints alleging that students are being prevented from communicating in selected languages.

It is alleged house committees are forcing Afrikaans students to speak English to their fellow students in their residences.

Commissioner Andre Gaum says they are investigating alleged violations of a number of rights, including the right to equality on the basis of language and race.

“The Commission however seeks to understand the extent of this alleged prohibition. The ban has allegedly been enforced by prohibiting the use of Afrikaans in private spaces, including residences, bedrooms, digital platforms such as WhatsApp and even on park benches in front of students’ residences. The Commission is investigating the matter and has written to the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of SU, Prof Wim de Villiers, regarding the allegations,” explains Gaum.

Court rules on the official medium of instruction at Stellenbosch University: