The University of Cape Town (UK) was hacked after distancing itself from a professor’s research paper. The university described this research paper as offensive to black people.
Prof. Nicoli Nattrass’s research paper called “Why are black South African students less likely to study biological sciences?” was published last month in the South African Journal of Science after which the university expressed its dissatisfaction with this article.
“The article is based on thoughtful assumptions about what black people think, feel, pursue and are capable of,” the UK said in a statement on Friday.
“Prof. Nattrass’s comments are an example of research that cannot explore the historical and ideological roots of academic disciplines and is equally unaware of the role that power differences play in the possibilities and choices in the lives of individuals and communities. The piece is abusive to black students at the UK, black people in general and to any academic who understands that the quality of research is inextricably linked to its ethical foundation, ”the statement reads.
The DA accuses the UK of censorship after Nattrass claimed that the university had tried to prevent her from publishing the research paper.
The party is now calling on the university to withdraw its statement.
“The statement and prof. Nattrass’s assertion is both an indication that the university is prepared to ignore the Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights and that it clearly applies censorship, “said Belinda Bozzoli, the DA’s shadow minister on higher education and training.
Bozzoli points out that everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including academic freedom and the freedom of scientific research. “It is the job of every university to defend these rights rather than abrogate them,” Bozzoli said.