Several posters sporting popular Nazi images with a national-socialistic message surfaced on the Stellenbosch University (SU) campus, attracting nationwide attention.
The posters that appeared on campus two nights ago provide a time and location for a supposed meeting of group, The Anglo-Afrikaner Student, an unknown group calling for students to “Fight for Stellenbosch”. According to the posters, the meeting will be held in the JS Gericke Library auditorium at 17:00 on 11 May.
When approach by Die Matie, library staff stated that the auditorium had not been booked for that date and time.
SU spokesperson, Martin Viljoen, said the matter was only brought to the university’s attention late yesterday morning.
“The posters were put up on campus without the knowledge or consent of the university, the library or the Student Representative Council (SRC),” stated Viljoen.
Viljoen added that a query was received on the availability of the venue and that no official booking was made at the time the posters were displayed.
“SU, its library and information service, and its SRC condemn racism, racial superiority and any attempts to polarise our campus community in the strongest possible terms and will not allow any event promoting racial superiority to take place on campus.”
Information about the event was not provided and the origin of the posters remain unknown.
“Not only is the message of the posters totally unacceptable, it is also not in line with our institution’s values. There seems to be deliberate mischief-making involved, and if that should be the case, disciplinary steps will be taken,” said Prof Wim de Villiers, rector and vice-chancellor of SU.
The Stellenbosch SRC stated they would not tolerate “these types of discriminatory acts” and have called upon the student body to condemn acts of racism and violence.
“It is deplorable in a time when the university has called for the decolonisation and transformation of our campus,” said the SRC, promising to hold those involved accountable to their disciplinary code and the South African Bill of Rights.
The posters have also been reported to the university’s equality unit and an investigation is currently underway.
Any student or staff member with more information is requested to contact the client service centre at 021 808 9111 or to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.