Afrikaans & Dutch
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​​About VER[r]AS

The Department of Afrikaans and Dutch student committee (formerly known as ‘ASK’ – Afrikaans Study Circle) is known as ‘VER[r]AS’ – the Society for Afrikaans Students. VER[r]AS is managed by a student committee and usually consists of undergraduate students with Afrikaans and Dutch as subject. Through the course of the year the committee organizes various events for fellow-students dealing with particular Afrikaans-related related, for instance Afrikaans film evenings, poetry evenings and even quiz and games evenings.

One of the VER[r]AS Committee's most important activities is compiling the annual student volume Penseel. Penseel is a volume with a long history in the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch. It was founded by Fanie Olivier and Danie Botha in 1969/70 under protection of ASK. Since then the volume has seen publication nearly every year. Among those poets and writers who have had their work published in Penseel over the years are today well-known figures in the Afrikaans literary world – Zandra Bezuidenhout, Kerneels Breytenbach, Charles Fryer, Rachelle Greeff, Helena Gunter, Joan Hambidge, Daniel Hugo, André le Roux, Sonja Loots, Fanie Olivier, Alfred Schaffer, Etienne van Heerden and Marlene van Niekerk – to name but a few.

Today Penseel remains a student volume. All students at Stellenbosch University may submit their original Afrikaans poems or short short stories for possible publication in Penseel. The entries are reviewed by a panel, with the best contributions being published. The volume's launch usually takes place in the fourth quarter, shortly before classes end for the year. Those young poets and writers whose work appears in the volume then get the opportunity of reading their poems or short stories to an audience.

For more information on VER[r]AS or Penseel, or for any enquiries, contact the VER[r]AS committee at

Penseel 2023

Entries for Penseel 2023 have closed!

Watch this space for more information about the 2023 edition.

The 2023 VER[r]AS committee


Willemien Meyer

Cameron Jo Benjamin
Deputy chair

Kobus Erasmus


Mari Koegelenberg

Penseel voorblad 2022.jpg


VER[r]AS launched the 2022 edition of Penseel on Tuesday 11 April 2023 at 19:00 in the Hofmeyer Hall. Selection for the 2022 edition was done by Dr Amanda Marais, Dr Alfred Schaffer and Mr Marius Swart.

Penseel 2022 has sold out! Still want your own copy? If there’s enough demand, VER[r]AS will reprint this edition. Email Ms Willemien Engelbrecht now to put our name on the waiting list.

The 2022 editorial team consisted of Cameron Jo Benjamin, Anouk Cronje (editor), Maya Joubert, Rentia Meyer (assistant editor) and Duné van Jaarsveld.

Penseel has an august history stretching back to 1969/1970 and an initiative by the then-unknown Danie Botha and Fanie Olivier. Since then, authors such as Joan Hambidge, Daniel Hugo, Loftus Marais and Marlene van Niekerk have all contributed. The 2021 and 2022 editions deserve their place in history because they appeared in and were compiled during the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch’s centenary.

Penseel Voorblad 2020.jpgPenseel 2021 Voorblad.png