Comment from the NWU Vice-Chancellor on the RSG discussion between Theo Venter and Carl Niehaus
The management of the North-West University (NWU) became aware of the discussion on RSG on 5 June 2018, during which certain statements were made by Mr Theo Venter. In response to these, Mr Carl Niehaus, who was also part of the discussion, accused Mr Venter of still holding on to racist convictions.
In the course of the discussion, Mr Theo Venter is alleged to have made a comparison between leaders of the apartheid and post-apartheid periods, in particular he is alleged to have said that former president Mr Jacob Zuma was worse than apartheid leaders.
This comparison is insensitive to South Africans in general and, in particular to those who suffered under apartheid. Apartheid was, and remains a crime against humanity.
Whilst freedom of speech is cherished and academic freedom a key feature of university work, the NWU is mindful of the responsibilities academics and management must exercise in the interest of the common good. Such comparisons intended or otherwise, cannot be considered appropriate, accepted or condoned by the NWU.