Jewish students at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) who support the State of Israel, or receive funding from Israel, should be kicked out of the college, the Students Representative Council (SRC) at DUT has urged. The demand has shocked and angered Jewish organizations in South Africa.
SRC Secretary Mqondisi Duma said: “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 vice-chancellor of the university, Ahmed Bawa, called the demand by the SRC and the Progressive Youth Alliance “totally preposterous, unjust, unfair, unreasonable and unconstitutional”, He said the university was committed not to “discriminate against any person based on their race, religion, colour, ethnicity, sexual orientation or political affiliation”.
The chairwoman of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and vice-president of the World Jewish Congress, Mary Kluk, said she was “appalled” and added that it was unacceptable such demands should be made in an academic institution.
The Council of Kwa-Zulu Natal Jewry, the regional Jewish umbrella body, said the call was “blatantly anti-Semitic, 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.”