On Friday, the 11th of March 2016, the AfriForum Youth successfully obtained an interim court order forcing the University of Stellenbosch to reinstate Afrikaans as a medium of instruction.
The court order requires Stellenbosch to revert to its previously approved language policy by the 29th of this month. This means that both English and Afrikaans will be given equal status at the university.
This order comes in the wake of a long series of national protests calling for an end to Afrikaans as a language of instruction at many institutions around the country.
The country wide attacks on Afrikaans have been aggressive, with universities closing and protesters clashing with opposing groups. With a track record of aggression, this development may mean increased and revived anger in the protest movements.
This doesn’t mean that the decision was bad. In fact, it is a great verdict. Almost anything that angers the hateful left should be considered a victory.
AfriForum Youth Spokesperson, Hein Gonzales, had this to say about the court order:
“This is not only a victory for Stellenbosch, but a national victory to tell universities that it is our constitutional right to have Afrikaans as a language in tertiary institutions, and we will fight for that. Not only in the Western Cape, but on other campuses as well.”
Any victory for institutional independence is a national victory, even if it will most probably lead to ire in the left. Stellenbosch has and never will be exclusively Afrikaans, and Open Stellenbosch’s claims that they are an institution that privileges only Afrikaners is ignorant and fallacious.
Anti-Afrikaans protests around the country are not founded in people wanting to learn in English – they are already given that option. They are founded in a desire to destroy, and a deep hatred of Afrikaners. The movement itself is fundamentally racist. Opposing them should have been the tactic from the start, but now institutions and individuals will have to start late in unravelling the fallacious and hate-filled mess that the protest movements have left behind.
Those who respect equal rights, coherent law and standing up to bullies should be pleased by the results of this case – as the weak leadership at Stellenbosch will need to comply to what they should have done in the first place.
Next week will allow us to see how the left will respond and if Stellenbosch will obey the law or collapse to bullies. Let us hope that the moderate and reasonable students in Stellenbosch help defend those who are defending the heritage and freedoms of the university.
Are you at Stellenbosch? What is the word on the ground? Please email information to [email protected]