Neo-Nazi poster turmoil at Rooiplein mass meeting

Chaos erupted on the Rooiplein at the University of Stellenbosch over lunchtime on 11 May.

A mass meeting was called for by a number of prominent groups on the campus to discuss controversial posters posted on campus earlier this week.

Students gathered on the Rooiplein steps to listen and express their views. PHOTO: Aydn Parrott

Stellenbosch University student Dean Dart  has been accused of involvement in creating the posters. He was denied the platform to speak at the gathering.

This was despite calls from students to “let him speak!”

Nathan Rens, a friend of Dart’s told MatieMedia afterward that he was approached to be a part of the creation and distribution of the Neo-Nazi posters, but said he emphatically refused.

“I support this gathering today, and I know I will never understand the pain of a black man.”

Rens went on to express concern over what he called “the university’s exclusionary approach to transformation,” saying that “white dignity needs to be reaffirmed”.

“The fact that certain people are not allowed to speak at a public gathering is evidence of the exclusionary approach of these people,” said Rens.

Multiple students and representatives from campus groups, like LesBiGay and DASO, expressed outrage at the posters, which are being interpreted by many as hate speech.

A student gives her reaction to the Neo-Nazi poster incident. PHOTO: Aydn Parrott

“We now know that the university knows who the three students are […] why have they not been suspended yet?”, argued student speaker Kerwin Jacobs, who also asked “why [there was] no interdict against them to stop them from actually acting on this idea of Nazism?”

The posters, which were reminiscent of Nazi-era propaganda, promoted a “New Right” event and invited “Anglo-Afrikaner” students to the JS Gericke Library Auditorium Thursday 11 May.

Students spoke about latent racism on campus and the need for transformation at SU.

Another prominent message that came through at the meeting was the need for unity amongst black students to challenge racism.

White students were reminded that their solidarity with black students was welcomed, but that they could never understand the pain of racism as experienced by black students. -MatieMedia Team