ACDP furious over student’s suspension at NWU


The ACDP is furious at the suspension of a senior student who expressed his displeasure with an orientation session for freshmen in which LGBTQIA+ content was discussed among other things. The party not only demands that the suspension be lifted, but also an apology from the North-West University (NWU).

Shaun Christie, a final year law student at the NWU’s Potchefstroom campus, objected to the presentation that students apparently had to sit through.

RNews earlier reported that according to the NWU, the student (Christie) expressed his opinion in a “disruptive manner… which did not respect the rights of other members of the audience, and certainly not what is expected of members of the NWU”. .

The university further said that the student’s actions caused disruption and confusion among the students and a large part of the audience left the proceedings.

“The NWU is proud to be a diverse and inclusive institution that allows constructive discourse on all matters, regardless of race, religion, culture or gender/sexual orientation,” read a statement from the institution.

The NWU says it also strongly condemns any action where the fundamental rights of association and expression are violated. The student concerned was consequently temporarily suspended, pending the conclusion of an investigation into the events.

Marie Sukers, ACDP-MP, says that this party is of the opinion that no single person’s rights can trump those of another and that people’s freedom of conscience, as well as freedom of opinion, should not be suppressed but should be protected.

“(Christie) stated that students are not allowed to talk about Jesus Christ at the Potchefstroom campus, but are fed information about ideological ‘nonsense’ that does not benefit their academic aspirations or spiritual life,” says Sukers.

She says that during a demonstration in Cape Town last year about the ongoing war in Gaza, Palestinian supporters were allowed to protest peacefully, but their supporters of Israel were not allowed to do the same. “Our government watched while one group’s rights were expressed, and another group’s rights were infringed upon and suppressed.

Sukers says the ACDP cannot allow the same to happen with the incident at the NWU.

“We want to show our support to Mr. Christie confirmed. He chose to bravely exercise his right to freedom of belief, belief and association and stand with students who shared his sentiment. Most of them walked out of the orientation session after he pleaded the case.

“We appeal to the NWU to make Mr. Christie to apologize, lift his suspension and reinstate him with immediate effect.”