Pretoria - Stellenbosch University has warned the white student, Theuns du Toit, who was captured on a video urinating on the belongings of a black student that he could face expulsion from the institution.
First-year student Babalo Ndwayana captured a video of 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.
On Tuesday, Ndwayana, who had expressed he wished to forgive the white student, appeared to be persuaded by his father as he laid criminal charges of housebreaking and entering, malicious damage to property and racism against the white student.
Police in the Western Cape have confirmed they are now investigating the matter.
In a statement, the university’s vice-chancellor, Professor Wim de Villiers, said the urinating on another student’s belongings was unacceptable and he condemned Du Toit’s actions.
As a result, De Villiers said the student had been suspended on Monday and was no longer residing at the residence.
“This type of behaviour cannot and will not be tolerated. I am truly sorry about the pain that was caused by this incident.
“SU strongly condemns any destructive or discriminatory behaviour that infringes the rights of any student or member of the community of the university. Human dignity is non-negotiable and must be respected, upheld and restored when affected.”
De Villiers said an investigation headed by the Equality Unit was currently under way and he warned of expulsion.
“While the investigation is receiving priority attention, it is critical that thorough governance and procedures are followed for a decisive outcome that will allow the full extent of the law as well as compliance with the university’s governance regulations.
“Permanent expulsion and/or criminal charges are possible outcomes based on the investigation’s findings,” he said.
De Villiers said the final outcome must pave the way to avoid any repeat of similar breaches of the right to personal human dignity on their campuses.
“Students and staff are encouraged to inform us of any incidences where their dignity and human rights are affected by reporting incidences to the Equality Unit so that we deal with it adequately.”
The university said the investigation into the urine incident at the Huis Marais student residence was a top priority for management.
“We value the well-being of all our students and staff. Further engagement will take place once a final outcome is reached,” he said.