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Maties 'urine scandal': Not the first time SU embroiled in race row

Stellenbosch University students protesting after alleged racist incident at Stellenbosch University. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / African News Agency

Stellenbosch University students protesting after alleged racist incident at Stellenbosch University. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / African News Agency

Published May 17, 2022

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While various voices are condemning the alleged "urine-gate" scandal at Stellenbosch University, this is not the first time the institution has been embroiled in a race row. We look at other race incidents that have rocked SU in the last few years.

Student urinates on another student's belongings

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A video of Theuns du Toit allegedly urinating on Babalo Ndwayana’s desk, textbooks and laptop was shared on Twitter. It quickly went viral and SU has suspended Du Toit. A petition has been lodged to have him expelled. While Du Toit has apologised, Ndwayana said he will not take legal action against Du Toit. A petition has since been started to get du Toit expelled from SU.

International Women's Day gaffe

In March 2022, SU was slammed over a poster featuring mostly white women for International Women's Day. SA Students Congress (Sasco) deputy president, Buyile Matiwane said the post represented how tone deaf SU was.

Coloured women study

In May 2019, SU came under fire for a report, "Age and education-related effects on cognitive functioning in coloured South African women”. The article, published in an international scientific journal, was met with widespread outrage from academics, citizens and a number of organisations.

Students suspended over 'black face'

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In early 2016, two white female students were suspended after a black face incident at a house-warming event in the Heemstede residence. They were reportedly dressed as US star tennis sisters, Venus and Serena Williams. According to SU, one of the students was relieved from her duties as a student mentor. There was a similar incident in 2014.

Racist viral video

In August 2015, a racism video went viral. The video, 'Luister', showed how students were exposed to racism and other forms of discrimination. The documentary included interviews from students sharing their own accounts of racial discrimination and violence at SU.

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The Committee on Higher Education has called on SU and its Student Representative Council to forge alliances to build a non-racial and inclusive institution.

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Committee chairperson, Nompendulo Mkhatshwa, said a delegation had visited SU in February this year to receive a briefing on the institution’s transformation journey thus far.

Mkhatshwa said the latest incident qualifies the committee’s concern regarding the institution’s state of transformation.

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