The Afrikaans language must no longer be imposed on people and should be put in its place, EFF leader Julius Malema said on Thursday.
“There are some elements who think Afrikaans is more superior than other… local languages,” he told reporters in Johannesburg in response to a question about Stellenbosch University.
“This thing of Die Stem in the national anthem is the one that perpetuates Afrikaner arrogance and supremacy.”
Malema said the rejection of Afrikaans should have been resolved in 1976.
This was the year of the Soweto uprising when, on June 16, school children were shot and killed while protesting against being taught in Afrikaans.
“We should have honoured [those killed] and said the dominance of this language will not be allowed.”
Malema said Afrikaans should be spoken and protected, but not imposed on people. “Let it be a choice. Like this Chinese language they want to bring here for our children. Let it be a choice.
Afrikaans people given an advantage
“We are not going to be undermined forever. When you take away my language, you are taking away my identity. I am gone,” he said.
Malema said the people must determine the dominance of their language. He used Limpopo as an example where most people either spoke English, Pedi or Shangaan.
He said there could not be a situation where the word ‘entrance’ at a door was written in English and Afrikaans in a town like Malamulele, where most people spoke Shangaan.
The same went for the University of South Africa’s exam papers where one side of a question paper was English and the other Afrikaans. This gives Afrikaans people an advantage.
“We must be treated equally,” the EFF leader said.
Malema said people, especially students, were losing their patience because of a lack of transformation in tertiary educations.
There had been allegations that the Afrikaans language was being used to oppress people in universities across the country.
“White people must accept that they have been failing us for a very long time. They must show remorse. They must leave these arrogant things they are doing.
“Those things of students kicking doors and collapsing statues is as a result of the patience of people. People are losing their patience and no one is realising [this].”
South Africa Today – South Africa News