Academics calling for the removal of the Stellenbosch University article denounced as racist say their complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) will test whether the research was a form of “hate speech”.
The academics, led by UCT Associate Professor of English Barbara Boswell, said they had also begun a process with the Women’s Legal Centre against the controversial research article “Age- and education-related effects on cognitive functioning in coloured South African women”.
The article, published in an international scientific journal, assessed cognitive functioning and its association with age and education in a sample of young and middle-aged coloured South African women.
It found coloured women had an increased risk of low cognitive functioning due to low education levels and an unhealthy lifestyle.
Following outrage, the university announced its own investigation into allegations of a breach of research norms and standards in the publishing of the research article. The institution unconditionally apologised for the “pain and anguish” caused by the article.