Letter: By what right may government decide what language I should use?

I write in English to accomodate readers who aren’t bright enough to speak more than one language; those who do not understand Afrikaans.

I write anonymously as I am not pursuing a career in politics or in media. Further I don’t want to be tarred and feathered or championed by any group.

Also as I am not a politician or a pundit, so I will keep it brief, relying on the reader’s pre-existing knowledge of affairs to set the context and situation.

I refer to the current controversy on racial transformation in our society, specifically with regards to Stellenbosch University and the Open Stellenbosch movement.

It has been reported that Stellenbosch University has removed the memorial plague of the Villain Verwoerd and renamed the Malicious Malan hall.

I find this ironic. It’s ironic as the government and associated intellectuals and press still think that they are within their rights to socially engineer South Africans into their vision of society, curtailing the rights of individuals and free associations that don’t fit the plan.

Furthermore they won’t blink whilst classifying individuals into racial categories and deciding for themselves what the rights will be that these categories shall enjoy or forgo.

I find it very ironic that a movement such as Open Stellenbosch is fighting for language rights at Stellenbosch University (not Universiteit) when that institution is already a majority English university with almost all textbooks in English; the majority of classes are presented in English, not translated but presented in English.

All exams can be completed either in English or in Afrikaans.

Nobody is intuitionally/bureaucratically excluded from Stellenbosch on the basis of race and there have been major efforts to accommodate students who are not Afrikaans-speaking at undergraduate level, while all post-graduate studies are already in English.

Fighting for language rights at the only bilingual university in South Africa?

Are there any English universities who even make this concession to language preference? Stellenbosch is already a de facto English university and de jure a bilingual university.

Within all popular frames of reference it is not only allowed, but morally just and desirable for government to impede individual freedoms by disallowing the right to free association, language and cultural rights.

In this philosophy it is just for national government to interfere in the future of it citizens and decide no longer will this be an all-white team/university/company/person but it must now be 79.2% black.

By what right can government classify me according to race, and if this right exists for government what is the process, where do I appeal and when will the SA bureau of Standards(SABS) release the race specs?

By what right can the Communist Party tell me in what language I may receive instruction?

This is pure arrogance to interfere in my life and disturb my peace. Was it gained from Baas Verwoerd?

Koos Kleurvol
‘n Vryburger