“All power to all people!”, “Forward Pan-Africanism!”, “Forward Internationalism!” and “Phantsi nge Xenophobia” echoed in the UJ Sanlam Auditorium on Kingsway Campus as the University’s leadership, led by Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Ihron Rensburg called for a firm stance against xenophobia.
“Shame. Moral outrage. Condemnation. These are necessary and essential first steps. However, it is not enough. What is required is reparation and dialogue. In order for us to rebuild our moral fabric, we require national mobilisation. This begins here with us mobilising at UJ,” said Prof Rensburg.
“Our nation’s liberators gave us the gift of ‘freedom’, and the call to build “the New Society”: a new society that is free of oppression of one by another. One that is caring, inclusive and transformative. It begins here at UJ.”
Prof Rensburg called upon staff and students to uphold the values of UJ, and vowed that UJ will not give up on its goal to become the Pan-African epicentre of critical and intellectual inquiry.
He concluded: “UJ will continue to further grow its international student body and its international academic staff body. UJ will continue to lead and stimulate public discourse on what the meaning of Pan-Africanism and Internationalism is.”
Armed with placards bearing slogans exclaiming “Unashamedly Pan-African”; “UJ united against xenophobia”; and “UJ condemns xenophobia”, staff and students marched through the campus and recited the UJ pledge against xenophobia.
Student leaders added their voice to UJ Leadership’s firm stance. Preceding Prof Rensburg, President of the International Students’ Association, Hassan Abdulahi asked; “Where is the love?”, while UJ SRC president, Mr Khutso Rammutla reiterated that no intimidation against international students will be tolerated.