Pretoria: Higher Education and Training Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, says he is “deeply disturbed” by the reported racist attack on Dumane Gwebu, a student at the University of Free State.
Gwebu is reported to have been driven over by a vehicle, while walking on the pavement, and later assaulted by Cobus Muller and Charles Blom, who are students at the same institution.
Gwebu needed to be hospitalized after the incident.
This follows an earlier incident where an attempt to drive over three female black students was made by the same culprits on the same day. An altercation ensued, where other derogatory racist remarks were hurled.
The suspects briefly appeared in court on Thursday on charges of attempted murder and assault. The case will now be heard on 9 April 2014 at the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court.
“We are strongly opposed to any form of racism and violent initiation practices that continue unabated in some of our institutions of higher learning. If these reports are indeed true, we are sending out a strong message that such behavior will not be tolerated.
“Higher education institutions should demonstrate a resolve to tackle these and accelerate the implementation of the recommendations of the Report of the Ministerial Committee on transformation and social cohesion and the elimination of discrimination in public higher education institutions.
“We have written to the University of Free State to be furnished with a detailed account of what transpired, the action taken by the University and intended corrective measures,” said Minister Nzimande.