Three students of South Africa’s Stellenbosch University have been suspended for putting up Nazi-inspired posters around the institution’s campus.
The posters draw on Nazi propaganda to rally support for Adolf Hitler, with its Nazi-era League of German Girls and slogans such as “The German student fighting for the Fuhrer and the people,” according to the BBC.
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The offensive posters, which were issued in the name of “the New Right,” called on “Anglo-Afrikaner” students to attend a meeting on Thursday to “fight for Stellenbosch.”
Reacting to the offensive posters, the university’s vice chancellor, Wim de Villiers, called for calm from the university community and described the posters as the action of mischief makers.
“There seems to be deliberate mischief-making involved, and if that should be the case, disciplinary steps will be taken,” Villiers said.
In a statement, the university also said it had identified three persons linked to the “totally unacceptable” and “highly offensive” posters, adding that its Equality Unit had commenced investigations.
A Racist Past
Located in one of the oldest European settlements in the Western Cape, Stellenbosch University is rated as one of the best academic institutions in Africa, but it has also been accused of being one of the least racially progressive institutions in post-Apartheid South Africa.
Until recently, Afrikaans, the language of the Dutch colonialists behind Apartheid, was the official language for instruction at the institution. As a result, many Black South Africans who prefer to speak English were left feeling unwelcome in a university located in the country of their birth.
Following a series of protests, the university announced that it would be drop Afrikaans as its official language of instruction and adopt a multilingual policy to promote inclusiveness.