CKNJ Press Release
Thursday 12th February
Media Statement from the Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry regarding the DUT SRC/ PYA
The Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry is appalled by the demand from the Student
Representative Council (SRC) and Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) of the Durban University
of Technology (DUT) for Jewish students at the institution to deregister.
The demand was made in a memorandum handed to Vice Chancellor of DUT Professor Bawa
on Tuesday February 10th. Secretary of the SRC, Mqondisi Duma, is quoted as saying, “As the
SRC, we had a meeting and analysed international politics. We took the decision that Jewish
students, especially those who do not support the Palestinian struggle, should deregister”.
The call is blatantly antisemitic and the singling out of any student for discrimination based
solely on their religion, race, gender or political affiliation goes against the values and
principles of a democratic South Africa proudly enshrined in our Constitution. It is especially
saddening that such a call could be made by youth organizations in our country which has
overcome a dark history of racial segregation and oppression and sacrificed much to achieve
freedom, equality and human rights for all.
The SRC’s statement today has also been brought to our attention and only serves to further
exacerbate and reinforce this hateful situation.
We wish to commend Vice Chancellor Professor Ahmed Bawa on his swift and strong
condemnation of the student formations’ demand, which he called, “totally preposterous,
unjust, unfair, unreasonable and unconstitutional”, and his commitment that DUT, “does
not discriminate against any person based on their race, religion, colour, ethnicity, sexual
orientation or political affiliation”. We welcome the opportunity to work with Professor
Bawa alongside other civil society organizations in their programme of engagement with the
SRC and PYA to address the obvious issues of intolerance and lack of social cohesion that
have emerged on DUT campus.
The Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry reserves the right to take this matter further.