VCs Identify Student Leaders As Threats – Prof. Senokwane

“To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom,” stated Prof. B B Senokwane, who was speaking at the Steve Bantu Biko’s memorial lecture at Afslaan hall of UJ’s APK campus.

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By Hendrica Nkoana (2 mins read)

Vice Chancellors (VCs) claim to protect the properties of tertiary education institutions, students and workers but they suffer from monophobia, politicophobia and especially agoraphobia, said Prof. B B Senokwane on Wednesday, 12th September.

While monophobia refers to an obsessive fear of being alone, politicophobia is about the fear or extreme dislike of a leader, usually a politician.

Goraphobia implies that one feels threatened when “entering open or crowded places . . . leaving one’s own home, or . . . being in places from which escape is difficult”, according to Oxford Dictionaries.

“To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom,” stated Senokwane, who was speaking at the Steve Bantu Biko’s memorial lecture at Afslaan hall of UJ’s APK campus.

Senokwane emphasised on how Biko prioritised education and politics in universities, as well as how the fundamentals of the Black Consciousness movement can still be implemented.

“Black Consciousness is awareness and for us to still believe in that awareness is important because we can use it to understand a lot of things,” said Senokwane, who was the keynote speaker alongside Central SRC President Tshireletso Mati.

“As for femicide, we need to go back and understand traditional dynamics,” he explained.

According to the Oxford’s In Search of History Grade 12 Learner’s Book, Black Consciousness is “a set of ideas” that brings about “an attitude of mind” rather than being a political movement.

Its main aims, as written in the book, were:

  • to raise the self-respect and confidence of Black people to liberate themselves;
  • to promote a pride in Black identity, culture and history;
  • to stop working with white liberals* in multi-racial organisations, but to encourage them to educate other white people to change their attitudes;
  • to promote unity amongst Black people by mobilising them to fight against apartheid, in particular against the division caused by separate development.

Senokwane said that Biko made it his business to write letters to SRC presidents. Biko did so to advise and engage with them, helping to better their leadership skills.

The academic’s entire speech focused on VCs vs students and workers. He claimed that VCs are considered as ‘dragons’ because they oppress students and non-academic workers such as cleaners.

“Since the #FeesMustFall . . . they (students) are considered as threats by Vice Chancellors,” said Senokwane. Such utterances created a positive mood in the audience.

Tshireletso raised concerns of the victimization of student leadership, particularly through suspensions and expulsions. He claimed that VCs are planning on banning politics in universities completely.

A SASCO member said the whole lecture is about segregation.

The situation of VCs against students and workers, he said, does not surprise him because black people still segregate against each other through language, political affiliations and even religious affiliations. TOJ

*Liberal: “supporting individual freedom and in favour of moderate political and social reform”, reads Oxford’s In Search of History Grade 12 Learner’s Book.

Reporting by Hendrica Nkoana. Editing by Gaby Ndongo. Feature image obtained from Steve Biko Foundation Twitter account, @bikofoundation.

1 comments on “VCs Identify Student Leaders As Threats – Prof. Senokwane”

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