Interview with Professor Tjaart van der Walt
He underlined that "Koinionia" was not a declaration of faith for the
University as a whole;
Asked about the significant changes that he saw he took this as
being specific to Potch. He commented on the physical growth -
6- thousand students. It was no longer a regional university a
third of the student body came from other university towns.
While it was still, formally a Christian National Centre he felt that
the emphasis was more on the Christian and less on the National.
Attitudes were far less dogmatic. the approach was biblical and
ecumenical, they were not as "exclusivistic" as they used to be.
He felt that there had been an evolution of ideas since the 40's
"when the government was young" There was less stress on being an
Afrikaner and more on being a "Suid-Afrikaner" .
He felt that too many people had the wrong attitude to Christian
national education. As far as he was concerned its significance was
that "it made my deepest roots religious and biblical" It-was--te4
He felt that it reflected the reaction against the liberalism of the
19th Centuiry which had been purely individualistic and had taken no
cognisance ofthe group. He felt that this had been its downfall.
Potch. gave priority to being a Christian campus, this was one reason
why it had been the first Afrikaans university to admit blacks (1973
Black students were graduates, they did not live on campus and they
were not exclusively confined to the Department of Theology. Many were.
part-time. Their not living on campus was the dictate of the law, not
the inclination of the University.
Asked about the more general changes that he saw, he commented o he
increasing growth and awareness of the Afrikaner and "the evolution
of sensitivity" that had come with his maturity and his "being less
sensitive about being engulfed" There was no longer need for him to
have a superiority complex. He wanted to work shoulder to shoulder
with the other groups in this country.
Asked about the student revolt, he said this had not affected Potch
at all. Contact between student and lecturer was much "easier" than
it had been in his student days. There was no local student situation
There was constant contact with black groups even withi'extremist'
He was a member of the Viljoen Commission on Tertiary Education.
He personally preferred the idea of universities that were ethnicall\/
differentiated, but on a voluntary basis, to the multi-racial campus,
He said that graduate students from Afrikaans Universities kaD were
at Turfloop. I- hclikr- Th, Pre4d
He had no prevision of the future
He again stressed how happy they would be to leave the "national out
of Christian National Education.