Call for Suspension of Shaun Christie from NWU

The South African Pagan Rights Alliance has taken decisive action against Mr. Shaun Christie, a senior law student at the North-West University (NWU), for his disruptive anti-LGBTQ rhetoric during a student orientation event on 6 February 2024. Christie’s expulsion, albeit provisional, was prompted by his objectionable behaviour at the Potchefstroom main campus amphitheater.

During the orientation proceedings, Christie expressed vehement opposition to the NWU’s inclusivity towards LGBTQ individuals, asserting that the institution was indoctrinating first-year students. His actions, including disruptive behaviour and derogatory comments, were captured in a video statement posted on his Facebook profile.

Despite facing disciplinary measures, Christie has sought support for his cause on social media, drawing backing from notable queer-phobic organisations, AfriForum Jeug and the African Christian Democratic Party. These organisations advocate for his reinstatement, portraying him as a victim of alleged attempts by “higher authorities” to suppress “religious freedom and Christian values”.

NWU condemned Christie’s actions as a violation of campus policies and a blatant disregard for authority. The university underscores its commitment to fostering an inclusive and respectful environment for all students.

In response to Christie’s behaviour, this Alliance has appealed to the South African Human Rights Commission in pursuit of strict and decisive action against Christie.

This Alliance recognises that the rights to freedom of religion and expression under the South African Constitution are limited, and that advocating hatred against the attributes of targeted NWU students is prohibited by law. Freedom of religion, belief and opinion does not permit hate speech or discrimination.

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Contact Tristán Kapp
Spokesperson, Community Paralegal & Interfaith Officer
South African Pagan Rights Alliance