The university announced its Central Disciplinary Committee (CDC) had found the students guilty of contravening clauses 9.3 and 9.6 of the Student Disciplinary code. They were ordered to do a total of 100 hours community service and write a restorative essay on how to constructively engage on campus.
The students had put up several Nazi-like posters, labelled “The Anglo-Afrikaner Student” calling for “like-minded” individuals to “Fight for Stellenbosch”.
Student Representative Council spokesperson Kamva Somdyala said they were “disappointed” with this outcome of the hearing as they expected a harsher punishment. “We made the call for these students to be expelled, not given community service. There have been numerous platforms for them to unlearn their supremacist ideas, that time has passed.
“There is a great sense of dissatisfaction as we feel no sanction was given for this discriminatory act, despite the huge outcry condemning it.”
#FeesMustFall activist Mishka Lewis said the university was creating a debilitating environment for students to study.
“Students of colour are scared to be out, students are scared of white people. We do not know all the accused and their alliances, what they could still be brewing.
“Is Stellenbosch (university) ever going to distance itself from its present oppressive culture?”
Lewis said they were hoping for a public apology and for the university to open a case of crimen injuria to send a strong message.
Clause 9.3 of the code states that a student shall not act in a manner that is racist, unfairly discriminatory, violent, grossly insulting, abusive or intimidating against any other person. Clause 9.6 of the code states a student shall not act in a manner so as to disrupt, or potentially disrupt, the maintenance of order and discipline at the university.
The 100 hours of community service are to be completed before the end of the first semester of 2018. Of these, 60 hours must be completed by the end of the 2017 academic year.
The remaining 40 hours of the community service must be used to implement the ideas of the restorative assignment.
If the students failed to comply, they would be expelled immediately. They had five days to appeal this outcome.
Approached for comment, Stellenbosch University did not respond by time of publication.