Sweden’s new ambassador to South Africa, Cecilia Julin, had to leave a lecture hall at a Cape Town university when protesting black students threw faeces on the floor of the auditorium during a science fair on October 5th. At least one person was also splashed with faeces, according to a spokesperson for the university, Lauren Kansley.
The Swedish ambassador expressed her “disappointment” at this act and also cancelled a similar lecture sponsored by Sweden as part of a Nobel Inspired Lecture Series at the University of Fort Hare in the rural Transkei area of South Africa. During the period of apartheid, the Transkei used to be an independent territory, although subsidised by South Africa.
Cecilia Julin told the South African online news site News24 that soon after the lecture at the Cape University of Technology in Bellville, Cape Town had started some black students entered the building. She said:
– The vice chancellor had just finished his speech of welcoming and they threw the containers of human faeces on the floor of the auditorium. It became impossible to continue and we quietly evacuated.
Apart from the Swedish ambassador, there were other international guests too, as well as school children from a leadership college that were going to make a presentation at the science fair.
– This is the saddest part, Cecilia Julin said.
According to her, parts of the exhibitions at the fair were also destroyed by the black students who want to get rid of Western science and culture as part of “decolonising South Africa”, as well as study for free. Throwing faeces at statues of white people or symbols of Western civilisation has become a feature of protests by black students in the country. Last year the statue of Cecil John Rhodes, the British-born mining magnate who left money to the Universities of Oxford and Cape Town in his will, was first covered in faeces and then vandalised by such students, after which a decision was taken to remove the statue from the campus completely. At the same university, paintings of white leaders from South Africa’s past were burnt in public while a memorial to South African soldiers who had died in the First and Second World Wars was defaced with the words: “Fuck white people.”
Sweden decided on Tuesday to cancel the lecture in Fort Hare, fearing a further anti-Western outburst in the formerly autonomous African territory.
– We are disappointed. We will look at the possibilities of doing this lecture digitally in maybe a week or two, said the ambassador.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Sweden’s Social Democratic government supported anti-Western terrorist groups in the country that placed bombs in supermarkets and on the street, as well as mined roads in the countryside where civilian farmers and their families were likely to drive by.