Rally against racism - Sasco

Johannesburg - South Africans of all walks of life need to rally against racism at universities, the SA Students Congress (Sasco) said on Tuesday.

"We are not only talking about students, but our sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers and all people living in this country. The so-called black face incident where two white students depict themselves as black domestics is an insult to black people," Sasco president Ntuthuko Makhombothi said in Johannesburg.

He was referring to an incident where two white female students in domestic worker outfits recently posed a photo with their faces and arms smeared with black paint. The photo was widely published in newspapers and on social networks.

The students' action was considered racist by many people commenting on social networks with the hashtag #blackface.

"We are seriously considering having a nationwide campaign against racism in our universities, more particularly the University of Pretoria where this incident took place, Makhombothi said.

"We are calling on the permanent expulsion of those two racist students who insulted our black parents in a manner reminiscent of the oppression of Saartjie Baartman."

Sasco will "shut down all campuses" in the week of 16 September to rally against racism and to demand free education.

The two students, who took the picture at a private 21st birthday party, were temporarily suspended from their residences on Friday, but not from the university itself.

A full disciplinary investigation will be held.

The SA Human Rights Commission on Thursday also launched an investigation into the matter. "While the commission has still not received a complaint in this regard, the commission decided to launch an own initiative investigation," spokesperson Isaac Mangena told Sapa at the time. Sasco also launched its "Free Education One Million Signatures" campaign earlier this month.

It will culminate in a march to the department of higher education in Pretoria to demand free education from Minister Blade Nzimande, Makhombothi said.

He said the conduct of universities of punishing students for fighting for their rights was out of order and a backward way of dealing with their concerns, giving recent protests at the Medical University of SA (Medunsa) and the Central University of Technology as examples of this behaviour.

Joe Dow 2014-08-12 04:02:58 PM
OK, we will rally against racism, as long as it address racism from both sides (which most of the times is not the case)
Jakkals Rooies 2014-08-12 04:08:23 PM
Soustrein Sasco, get an education morons! Racist bastards!
Faith Faithfull 2014-08-12 04:09:07 PM
This headline is wrong. This is not asking for a rally against racism. It is promoting racism
James Livingstone 2014-08-12 04:09:41 PM
SASCO--- you really are pathetic aren't you. You have to blow things out of proportion. Remove the chip from your shoulder and see that in many places I have seen even young Africans saying that this was meant as fun. But then, like your anc pals, you need controversy to validate your existence. I am grateful my child is not of university age and at a campus you fools are at. If you "Shut down" a campus for even 1 day I would have you in court for preventing my child from getting her education as enshrined in the right to education in the constitution. Be very careful.
Athena 2014-08-12 04:11:15 PM
Fantastic idea. Close the Campuses for a week so the Students do badly. Then rampage, burn and destroy the Campus because the students have failed. Then demonstrate the lack of decent facilities at the Campuses. Very progressive thinking. Genuises!
Redphi 2014-08-12 04:13:12 PM
What about south Africans against Zimbabweans ? That's racist too , are they allowed to March against u bunch of buffoons?
Nin Ja Kitty 2014-08-12 04:14:38 PM
Oh here we go again. What about the minority laying claims of racism against the majority. Just flipping be a part of the get along gang. This is simply outrageous. Students of all people - wanting to preach to us about racism. The behaviour of students of all races is indicative of bad potty training. Get on with your studies and leave others be.
Piet Skiet 2014-08-12 04:15:14 PM
Jonathan Lewis 2014-08-12 04:16:00 PM
Can two black people with a sense of humour just go #whiteface and get even. FFS this is rediculious. The real reason for the march is actually to rally for free education. Because in this country no one believes in working hard for what you want you just want to demand or get it for free. You using the racism card just as an excuse for the march.
Reiner Bunger 2014-08-12 04:24:50 PM
Please stop BEE! Also racism!