Professor Jansen is incapable of transforming Free State University

27 October 2009

In his inaugural speech as the first black rector of the University of Free State, Professor Jansen clearly demonstrated that he was incapable of transforming that institution.

SADTU abhors racism and Jansen`s announcement that he would drop charges against the four white students who forced five black workers to eat food they had urinated on, was racist in favour of the students. Jansen said he was doing this in the spirit of "toenadering". Our understanding of tonadering is that it has to be truthful, the perpetrator should take full responsibility for his or her actions and there should be full engagement of both the perpetrator and the victim.

We have seen none of these in Jansen`s gesture. We are not aware of any attempts by these students to engage the workers they humiliated and denigrated.
The victims were the last people in Jansen`s mind as he never sought their opinion before making his statement. Instead, he offered some form of reparation. Can reparation buy their dignity?

We are also not impressed by Jansen`s record as Dean of Education at the University of Pretoria as we saw very little transformation in the Faculty.
SADTU is therefore calling for the Human Rights Commission to investigate Jansen`s racist action. We call upon Jansen, in the interest of education transformation, to do the honourable thing and humbly tender his resignation.

Issued By: SADTU Secretariat