UFS sociology lecturer cleared of hate speech resigns

Pedro Mzileni.
Pedro Mzileni.
Image: Theo Jeptha

University of the Free State (UFS) sociology lecturer Dr Pedro Mzileni who was recently cleared of hate speech has announced his resignation from the institution. 

In October, UFS cleared Mzileni after an inquiry into alleged race-baiting comments during a guest lecture about coloniality and the history of racism. 

The investigation emanated from a complaint by AfriForum Youth, which claimed Mzileni used rhetoric that appeared to be aimed at stoking the fires of racial division. He allegedly referred to white South Africans as “land thieves”. 

The university said its probe, which included an independent fact-based investigation process, found “no evidence that students were exposed to hate speech” and also “no prima facie case of misconduct on the part of Dr Mzileni”. 

In a letter of resignation shared on X, Mzileni thanked the university for the experience and support provided during his time there.

The university confirmed a letter of resignation was received from Mzileni on Friday. 

“Dr Mzileni did not provide reasons for the resignation, and it will be effective December 29. The university management takes note of the resignation and wishes Dr Mzileni all the best with his career,” the university said. 

It said during the second semester UFS had launched an urgent and formal investigation into a guest lecture given by Mzileni to second-year LLB students on July 25.

“This included independent fact-based investigation processes. Based on all the information available during the investigation, no evidence could be found that students were exposed to hate speech. The report on the investigation was shared with Dr Mzileni earlier this month.” 



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