DA calls on Het Jan Marais Fonds to consider defunding Stellenbosch University

Issued by Dr Leon Schreiber MP – DA Constituency Head: Stellenbosch
09 Nov 2022 in News

Please find attached soundbites in English and Afrikaans by Dr Leon Schreiber MP.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will today write to the trustees of the Het Jan Marais Fonds requesting them to consider defunding Stellenbosch University (SU) unless the university management explicitly rejects the recommendations of the Khampepe report on the extinction of Afrikaans at the university.

The report equates the Afrikaans language with racism and scapegoats the seven million black, white and coloured speakers of this official indigenous language for the urination incident that took place at the university earlier this year.

Based on this insulting and dishonest finding, the report goes on to recommend the complete erasure of Afrikaans from both formal and informal settings at Stellenbosch.

The Het Jan Marais Fonds is by far the biggest donor to SU. The fund originates from the last will and testament of Jan Marais, who donated £100 000 to the university in 1915 on the explicit condition that the money would only remain available for as long as Afrikaans enjoyed equal status to English as an academic language at the university.

The implementation of the Khampepe report would clearly violate this condition, as it calls for the abolition of Afrikaans at Stellenbosch. It would therefore potentially be ultra vires and inconsistent with the terms of the fund’s contract with SU for the current trustees of the Het Jan Marais Fonds to continue funding a university that plans to erase Afrikaans.

The DA calls on the Het Jan Marais Fonds to put Rector Wim de Villiers on terms, making it clear that the fund will withdraw all of its financial support unless the university explicitly rejects Khampepe’s outlandish recommendation to extinguish the right to mother-tongue education of South Africa’s diverse Afrikaans-speaking community.