During lunch hour on Friday, 06 March 2020, some of the University of Venda (UNIVEN) students took a video of the guest researcher (Dr Furumoto) while shouting “Corona! Chinese!” at him. This video was subsequently shared and trended on various social media platforms. 

Dr Furumoto who is a Research Assistant at the University of Essex, United Kingdom, is part of a Microvariation Workshop hosted by MER Mathivha Centre for African Languages, Arts and Culture. This workshop is co-sponsored by JSPS’s Core-to-Core Program: B Asia-Africa Science Platforms, and the Office of the Dean, School of Human and Social Sciences. Dr Furumoto was shocked and disturbed by such actions by UNIVEN students. 

The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni said’ We apologize on behalf of the University Management and the entire University community. We would like to emphasize that the behavior in the video is not acceptable and it does by no means represent values promoted by the University. The Executive Management strives for a safe place of learning while promoting diversity and global citizenship. The Management also continuously welcome researchers within and outside of South Africa to achieve excellence in research”. 

UNIVEN is a Higher Education Institution that promotes diversity and excellence for members of the global society. Therefore, the University distances itself from these actions and further condemns such conducts by some students. We affirm the University’s values of tolerance, diversity and ubuntu. 

Issued by: Dr Takalani Dzaga, APR 

Director, Communications and Marketing 

University of Venda 
Tel: 015 062 8112/8525 or 082 745 3090 
E-mail: Takalani.dzaga@univen.ac.za 

12 March 2020