KEVIN VAN DER LIST
The student responsible for drawing up Kiaat’s allegedly racist poster has been suspended from both Kiaat and UP. His suspension followed an investigation into his involvement with the poster which appeared in the residence early in September.
The poster called on Kiaat residents to perform menial chores in order to join the clubhouse committee. The poster stated that “candidates have to be black”.
According to SRC President Mthokozisi Nkosi, “[T]here has been no communication regarding the disciplinary hearing [of the student]. [The SRC] are obviously not pleased with the slow pace but we would like to make sure the student concerned gets a fair case.”
According to a third-year student in Kiaat, who wishes to remain anonymous, Kiaat selected a new clubhouse committee last week Tuesday after the initial committee was banned. The new committee has two white and two black representatives. The clubhouse reopened last week Wednesday.
The New Age Online reported on 5 October that the South African Students Congress (SASCO) was pleased with the student’s suspension. However, they have called for Prof. van Eck, Kiaat’s house father, to be removed from his position. “We are still in talks with management about his removal. He failed to condemn the poster when it was first released and has been instrumental in intimidating students at Kiaat by censoring comments on Facebook,” said SASCO Chairperson at UP Kwara Kekana.
The Kiaat student who wished to remain anonymous said that tensions in Kiaat have “passed” and that Kiaat members want their house father to stay. “The house loves [van Eck]. It wasn’t our idea to have him removed – it was [SASCO] and [the] ANCYL when they invaded our last house meeting. Most of us walked out of the meeting when the suggestions were made. He even spoke to the whole house and no one seems to have a problem with him,” he said.
According to the student, posters do not have to be approved by the house father before being put up. He said that the Publications HK is in charge of approving posters, but it was put up without his knowledge. Van Eck’s involvement in the poster is still being investigated by UP.