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Female student ‘humiliated’ in fresh Stellenbosch University race incident

The university confirmed that an investigation was also under way into an alleged incident that occurred at the Law Dance when ‘racist’ remarks were allegedly made towards a female student”.

The university confirmed that an investigation was also under way into an alleged incident that occurred at the Law Dance when ‘racist’ remarks were allegedly made towards a female student”.

Published May 18, 2022

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Cape Town - Another alleged racist incident involving a Stellenbosch University student has emerged days after the spotlight fell on the institution following a viral video showing a white student humiliating a fellow black student.

This time the university’s Juridicial Society said a women student was made to feel humiliated at the Law Dance when another law student allegedly verbally abused her last week.

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“It involved the request by an Indian student that an Indian song be played. Upon this request, a white law student allegedly made abhorrent racist remarks and defamatory comments that were offensive and degrading,” the statement reads.

“These comments were reportedly witnessed by another law student, who failed to assist in the matter and laughed in response when asked for help from the victim. Up until this date the victim has not received a satisfactory apology for harm suffered,” the statement said.

The university confirmed that an investigation was also under way into an alleged incident that occurred at the Law Dance when “racist remarks were allegedly made towards a female student”.

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In a statement, the Law Faculty at the university said it was deeply distressed about a reported incident at Huis Marais this past weekend, which infringed the human dignity of a fellow student.

“The Faculty of Law is furthermore deeply distressed to have been informed of a reportedly racist incident at the Law Dance . Although we are yet to establish all the facts related to the incident (and the outcome of any related disciplinary process), we condemn any form of discrimination in the strongest of terms.”

The incident is alleged to have taken place on May 12, days before Stellenbosch University Babalo Ndwayana woke up to a white student, Theuns du Toit, urinating on belongings at the male residence Huis Marais on campus on Saturday.

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While the university has suspended Du Toit, Ndwayana subsequently lodged a criminal complaint against him.

Police spokesperson Frederick van Wyk confirmed that police were investigating the case.

“A 20-year-old complainant opened cases of housebreaking unknown, malicious damage to property and crimen Injuria today at about 2.30pm at Stellenbosch SAPS for investigation. Investigations continue, no arrest yet,” he said.

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In a statement yesterday, Stellenbosch University said: “In dealing with the incident that occurred in Huis Marais, decisive disciplinary action had already been taken on Monday, including the suspension of the alleged perpetrator. In line with the law and governance of the university, further investigation is currently under way towards a swift and final outcome in the matter.”

An investigation was also under way into an alleged racist incident at the Law Dance, according to the statement.

“University authorities are in discussion with individuals, attendees of the dance, faculty leadership and student representatives to ascertain the facts at hand as well as more information about the formal complaint by the affected student. Authorities have also met with the affected student, while she has also been assisted in the process of reporting the matter to the University’s Equality Unit. The Law Faculty will also ensure that she has access to the necessary counselling services. The University took note of the public statement issued by the SU Juridicial Society, and will engage directly with them as a key stakeholder in this matter.”

Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Innovation chairperson Nompendulo Mkhatshwa said they had formally written to the university and were awaiting a response from the institution.

“The committee has been in engagement with the department. It would also be worthy to note that the committee met with Stellenbosch University on February 16, 2022, to receive a briefing on progress regarding the institution’s transformation journey. This incident is thus very concerning, given that history,” Mkhatshwa said.

*Additional reporting, Siphokazi Vuso

Cape Times

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