Student Leader Expelled; Others Arrested After Protesting Bans
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) _ A white student leader has been expelled from one of the country’s most prestigious universities for protesting racial segregation of dormitories, school officials said Friday.
Leslie Durr, 21, was expelled from the University of Stellenbosch following a disciplinary hearing Thursday.
She was president of the Stellenbosch branch of the anti-apartheid National Union of South African Students, which officials banned from operating on the campus for four months.
A similar ban was imposed on a group representing the university’s black students.
At the nearby University of Cape Town on Friday, 22 students were arrested when they protested the ban on the groups, witnesses said.
About 1,500 Stellenbosch students also staged a noon rally in protest, but there were no arrests.
The banned student groups helped coordinate a protest two weeks ago of the university’s policy of housing non-white students in a separate dormitory. About 100 students and teachers participated, and they were pelted with food by a few other students.
Stellenbosch, in a scenic wine-growing region near Cape Town, has about 13,300 white students and about 500 who are black, Asian or mixed-race. It is considered the best and the most liberal of South Africa’s five Afrikaans- language universities.
The University of Cape Town is one of the country’s premier English- speaking universities.
Stellenbosch officials banned student protests in 1985. The school’s chief administrator, Rector Mike de Vries, said Friday the disciplinary measures were taken because the ban was broken, not because of the protesters’ views about segregated dormitories.
Ms. Durr, an honors student in philosophy, told reporters that university authorities were using her as a scapegoat.