South African university apologises for running survey saying white people are 'more attractive' than black people
University of Cape Town student newspaper Varsity conducted the pollFound that 38% think white people were the most attractiveAfrican people came last with only 8% of the vote
Student bodies and human rights activists have criticised the article.
19:13 GMT, 5 April 2013
00:45 GMT, 6 April 2013
A South African student newspaper caused a racial storm after publishing a poll that said white people are the most attractive race.
The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Varsity newspaper conducted a survey of 60 students to decide which race is the most attractive.
It showed that 38 per cent of those surveyed thought that whites were the most attractive, while Africans had the lowest rating with just eight per cent.
Outrage: White people were found to be the most attractive with 38 per cent of the vote, while African people came last with just eight per cent
The survey took in a wide range of ethnicities, with people from who were white, Indian, East Asian, mixed race, black or ‘coloured’ backgrounds.
The poll, which was conducted to accompany an article entitled ‘Is Love Colour Blind’ by student Qamran Tabo, has been condemned as racist.
The paper was forced to apologise after students and human rights activists complained.
The UCT Young Communist League of South Africa lodged a complaint with the country’s Human Rights Commission as they believe that the ‘charade of a survey’ incited racial hatred.
They said: ‘The article and its alleged survey were always leading to inculcate a culture of one race being the jewel of all others. It is despicable to read.’
The university, which is considered among the best in Africa, only chose to remove its race-based admissions policy in February.
Academic: The University of Cape Town is considered one of the best universities in Africa
The UCT Student Representative Council said that they paper should have showed greater respect to an issue that had a ‘painful historical significance’.
Even South African human rights activist Zackie Achmat tweeted that the poll was ‘racist nonsense’.
Critics took to Twitter to condemn the article.
Palee92 wrote: 'Uct varsity newspaper has lost the plot. Why are even wasting time discussing what the most attractive race is'
BabS_Nyembezi said: 'Wow. But the editorial team of UCT's “Varsity”. I wish, for their sakes, the whole piece had been a misprint. They can't have been thinking.'
Editor-in-chief of Varsity Alexandra Nagel issued an apology to anyone who was offended.
She said: ‘I am aware of the controversy surrounding the sensitivity of race and I understand that the right to freedom of expression has its limits when used unnecessarily to discriminate against others, slandering religion, race, sexuality.
‘However, Varsity feels that the writer was not abusing this right nor had the intention of issuing an attack on individual racial groups, but simply pinpointing a matter that is still affecting the lives of South Africans.’