Five charges against NWU student who ‘disrupts LGBTQIAP+ session’


Shaun Christie, the senior student from the North-West University (NWU) who was temporarily suspended earlier this month as a result of his public objection to the content of a session at an orientation event, is charged with five separate charges of misconduct.

Christie’s disciplinary hearing will take place on Thursday at the university’s Potchefstroom campus. According to AfriForum Youth, its legal team will assist Christie during the trial and also insist that all charges against him be withdrawn.

The university claims, among other things, that Christie intentionally made himself guilty of “hate speech by inciting students to stand up against the LGBTQIAP+ community”. In addition, he is charged with intentionally disrupting a university program; violated the rights of the speaker of the relevant session, Chloe Valerie van der Walt; has been guilty of hostile treatment of the LGBTQIAP+ community; and that he unlawfully and intentionally made a false statement regarding the university’s alleged intolerance towards Christian values.

According to Ronald Peters, AfriForum Youth manager, with these charges the university ignores Christie’s right to freedom of speech and freedom of association. “The attempt to extend a charge of misconduct now even to the much more serious charge of hate speech is unacceptable. Our legal representative will assist Christie and ensure that this witch hunt is stopped,” emphasizes Peters.

“So far, the university has in no way accepted responsibility for the blatantly biased way in which the orientation program was put together. An LGBTQIAP+ association was the only one allowed as part of the official program to host a session and this created the breeding ground for discontent. Christie stood up for what he believed in and is now being castigated for it.”

Christie was temporarily suspended following the incident on February 6. His temporary suspension was partially lifted on February 13. The university’s disciplinary committee thereby gave this fourth-year law student permission to participate in academic proceedings on campus again since then. However, he is still not allowed to attend any of the university’s public events.