Potchefstroom - North West Premier Thandi Modise expressed shock on Saturday at reports that students at the province's university in Potchefstroom had used the Nazi salute.

“It is disturbing, because this incident demonstrates that segments of our young, white people are still vulnerable to ethnic and racial indoctrination,” Modise said in a statement.

“As South Africans, we have come along way, indeed almost 20 years to the day to bury the sceptre of racism and ethnicity in all its manifestations.”

Beeld newspaper reported on Friday that some students had used the Nazi “Sieg Heil” during an initiation ceremony.

Photographs were published by the newspaper showing groups of students at the University of the North West doing Nazi salutes.

According to the newspaper the university was investigating the matter.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande was also expected to announce a plan of action next week.

Modise on Saturday said the provincial government would monitor events at the Potchefstroom campus.

“As a nation, we can ill-afford to be exposed to any sentiment which undermines the prescripts of our constitution,” she said.

“We are equally encouraged by the swift condemnation of the incident by the management of the university which has taken the public in their confidence in relation to the matter.”

Sapa