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Fresh allegations of racism surface as Maties tackles ‘urine scandal’ investigation

Stellenbosch University students protest after an alleged racist incident at the university. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Stellenbosch University students protest after an alleged racist incident at the university. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 18, 2022

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New allegations of racism have surfaced at the Stellenbosch University. This time, it is alleged that racist remarks were made towards an Indian student at the Law Dance on Thursday last week.

According to reports, her request for an Indian song to be played was met with racially charged comments.

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SU said university authorities were in discussion with people who attended the dance, faculty leadership and student representatives to determine what happened and get more information about the student’s formal complaint.

“Authorities have also met with the affected student … (and) she has 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 today by the SU Juridical Society and will engage directly with them as a key stakeholder in this matter,” the university said.

This comes as the university’s management has instituted disciplinary action against a student accused of urinating on another student’s belongings.

First-year student Babalo Ndwayana captured a video of Theuns du Toit urinating on his desk, books and laptop on Sunday night. He allegedly broke into Ndwayana’s room at the university's Huis Marais residence.

“In dealing with the incident that occurred in Huis Marais early on Sunday morning, decisive disciplinary action has 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. Permanent expulsion and/or criminal charges are definitely not excluded from the possible available outcomes based on the investigation’s findings. SU is committed to supporting the victim of the incident with equipment and counselling to ensure his academic progress is not affected by the incident,” the university said.

There have been calls for Du Toit’s expulsion.

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‘We call on university authorities to institute strong disciplinary measures beyond mere suspension of the student but to also dismiss the student for his abhorrent racist conduct which is unacceptable by any standards,’ said Higher Education Transformation Network deputy executive director Orapeleng Matshediso.

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Innovation also condemned the incident, adding that the university must conclude its investigation swiftly and make its findings public to reassure the country that it strived for an inclusive student community.

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