Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Action Alert, Media, South Africa

Fazel Khan & the right to academic freedom at University of KZN

Fazel Khan who has worked with the Durban Shackdwellers for the past two years, was fired by the University of KwaZulu Natal (KZN) following a 7 months disciplinary process for criticising the management of the university.

If you are in South Africa please support Fazel by signing the petition for his re-instatement. Alternatively if you are not in South Africa you can still support him by write to the University of KZN asking that he be re-instated immediately.

Comrades,

As you all know, last week I was finally fired after a 7 month disciplinary process. I am not the first person to have been forced out of this university on political grounds in recent months. When I was fired I was clearly told that I will not be the last.

When the media asked me questions about my removal from a photograph and article in UKZNdaba last year I answered them honestly and in good faith. I was certainly not being dishonest and anyone who reads the transcript of my hearing will see that the University failed to prove their claim that I had been dishonest.

I regret that giving my honest and well grounded opinion in response to the questions that were put to me wasted months of my life and got me fired. But I do not regret trying to answer the questions put to me as honestly as I could. If trying to tell the truth at a university is something that ‘brings the university into disrepute’ then there is something seriously wrong with that university. The whole purpose of a university is supposed to be built around the collective search for truth….Continue.

Fazel’s case, which is not the first, undermines the right of academic staff and students to freedom of expression particularly in an environment that is supposed to nurture critical thinking and discussion. His case is supported by the Committee for Academic Freedom in Africa and the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI)

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