*Note:  Although FOR SA is not / has not been involved in this case, the case to a greater or lesser extent touches on religious freedom and is mentioned for that reason.

A complaint has been lodged with the CRL Rights Commission against De Goede Hoop residence, a privately-owned residence of the University of Pretoria on the basis that the residence unfairly discriminates against people of other races. The CRL is reported to have said that the residence violates the rights of non-Afrikaans and non-Christian students. (Source link: http://www.sabc.co.za/news/a/7a6566004086ddc6ba5bbb85991bc033/Afrikaans-residence-near-UP-is-violating-rights:-CRL-Rights-commission-20170324)

The privately-owned residence opened its doors to Christian, Afrikaans-speaking students in February, after the university revised its language policy in October 2016. According to News24, facility co-ordinator Janli Sonntag told Radio 702 the aim was to preserve Christian values and Afrikaans culture. She rejected claims that its policy was discriminatory. (To read more, see http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/crl-complaint-laid-against-afrikaans-only-residence-20170323)

In a conversation between FOR SA and De Goede Hoop, Sonntag confirmed that the residence does have English speaking residents as well who “buy into” the opportunity to speak Afrikaans.  On the aspect of religion, she confirmed that Christianity is integral to the ethos and practice in the residence, i.e. they open in prayer and have quiet time from 7 – 10pm every night.  However, you can use this time as you see fit – to study, sleep or have a Bible time. Residents are free to go to any church – there is no hostel activity on Sundays. Sonntag confirmed that if someone from another religion applies for residence and agrees to abide the hostel rules, then they are most welcome.

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Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA) is dedicated to protecting and preserving the freedoms and rights that the South African Constitution has granted to the faith community. You can help FOR SA protect our freedom by:

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