CKNJ Press Release

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.