HRK to investigate ‘racist’ lecturer at UFS


The Human Rights Commission (HRC) agreed to dismiss AfriForum Youth’s complaint of racism against Dr. Pedro Mzileni, a lecturer at the University of the Free State (UF).

This follows after the youth organization lodged a complaint against Mzileni on 17 August, in response to students’ complaints about this lecturer’s allegedly racist lecture while he acted as a guest speaker.

“His divisive rhetoric appeared to be aimed at stoking the fires of racial division and hostility. Meanwhile, a student who attends Mzileni’s lectures in sociology informed us, and sent evidence, of repeated racist comments by this lecturer,” says RenĂ© van der Vyver, spokesperson for AfriForum Youth.

The youth organization instructed its lawyers to send the additional evidence of alleged racism against Mzileni to the HRC.

“It is a step in the right direction that the HRC is going to investigate AfriForum Youth’s complaint against a racist lecturer. Ideologically distorted and racist content shoved down students’ throats on our campuses must never be allowed,” adds Van der Vyver.

Meanwhile, AfriForum Youth’s complaint to the university is also being investigated by an independent law firm and the supplementary evidence will be submitted as a new complaint.

AfriForum Youth sent an urgent letter to prof. Francis Petersen, vice-chancellor of the UFS, directed to demand that an investigation be instituted into Mzileni’s lecture on 25 July 2023.

On 25 July, Mzileni addressed second-year LLB students of South African indigenous law at the UFS on the theme of colonialism, social justice and constitutionalism. According to Van der Vyver, his lecture was fraught with a series of “deeply inflammatory and prejudiced comments that fuel racial division and hostility”. Among other things, he said that white people are the enemy and referred to colored people and Asians as “deputy white people”.

“AfriForum Youth takes a strong stance against ideologically distorted and racist content that is shoved down students’ throats on our campuses.”