On 21 April Bella Cox, a Kenyan third-year BA General student, performed her poem written from a foreign student’s perspective in response to the attacks at Garissa University. On the same day, the CSA & G also provided boards for people to write on and anti-xenophobia posters for people to take pictures with.

Gouhbegovic spoke briefly on 22 April regarding the issue of xenophobia, and those who attended were given the platform to “express anything on the theme of xenophobia”. On the same day the political science department supplied paper for people to express their stance on xenophobia. On 22 and 23 April, Suvania Subroyen, Khayisile Mohudi and Kwena Moloto, members of Soul Inc., performed poems. On the last day of the campaign there was a march followed by a discussion moderated by Christopher Hojem, chairperson of Tuks Debating Union. Before the march, SRC president, Mosibudi “Rassie” Rasethaba explained that the activism week was “about awareness and joining the whole country to say no to xenophobia”.

Kenneth Diole, a third-year student studying political science and international relations, described the march as a disappointment in regard to the turnout, although the attendees were optimistic. Diole felt that the debate “asked many questions that have been eluded by the university, for example issues of transformation”.

Student participation in the activism week was low and Gouhbegovic remarked on this prevailing apathetic attitude, saying, “Evil prevails when good men do nothing … don’t be that good man who does nothing, take a stand.”

that, “There is to be no discrimination against any staff member or student who has command of only Afrikaans or of only English or of only these two languages.”

Another reason for the meeting was that the ARF felt that after the discussion on 23 April they needed to provide a platform for those with similar goals to connect and work together on achieving such goals. The letter committee said that “these goals roughly revolve around transforming the university.”

Furthermore, at the meeting the ARF introduced their four committees that have been formed to deal with specific aspects of what the ARF sees as the issues on campus. The four committees are social media, political, letter writing, and practical engagement. Dladla explained that the political school’s purpose “will be to consolidate and raise consciousness regarding the exact nature of the problem”. The ARF’s first political school took place on 7 May. During the event, it was made clear by members of the ARF that Perdeby was not welcome at the event.

Photo: Shen Scott

 

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