KEVIN VAN DER LIST
UP has opened an investigation into the alleged racist poster found in one of its Groenkloof residences late last week. The poster sought applications to become a member of the Kiaat club house committee.
It called on students who would be willing to perform menial chores to sign up. It also insisted that “candidates have to be black.” Professor Ernst van Eck, Kiaat’s House Father, told Eye Witness News that the poster was “all a misunderstanding.” “We are trying to make the club house committee more representative of all the different cultures. White people will wash the toilets with them [the black applicants],” said van Eck. According to UP Senior Media Liaison Officer, Nicolize Mulder, the poster has been removed. “Depending on the outcome of the investigation, the university will discipline any student that acted in contravention of the university’s policy for the prevention of unfair discrimination based on race,” she said. The South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) has condemned the poster saying it came across as racist, regardless of its intention. SAIRR said that the university has followed the appropriate steps in dealing with the incident, and added that students should be more aware of the consequences of their actions.
Christopher Pappas, SRC member of Academic Affairs, told Perdeby that, “The SRC has been [asked] to approach the constitutional tribunal. [Kiaat] will have another house meeting on Tuesday where they will either suspend the current club house committee and close the club house pending the outcome of the investigation. Or, the current committee will be disbanded and a new committee consisting of four blacks and four whites will be democratically elected by the house.”