Stellenbosch University sets up inquiry to deal with race and gender inequalities

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Rector and Vice-Chancellor for Stellenbosch University, Professor Wim De Villiers, says an independent Commission of Inquiry will be set up at the institution to deal with race and gender inequalities among others.

On Thursday, Stellenbosch University students held a protest march on campus following an alleged incident of racism this past weekend. They are calling for the expulsion of the alleged racist perpetrator, Theuns Du Toit.

He allegedly urinated on books and study material of fellow student, Babalo Ndwayana.

Du Toit has since been suspended from the university.

De Villiers says the incident is shameful. “As part of this commitment, the rectorate will set up an external, independent commission of inquiry into the incident of racism and harassment at the university it’s external independent and will be headed by a respected judge.”

Case of racism

On Tuesday, the victim of an alleged racial incident at Stellenbosch University that saw a white student urinating on his belongings opened a case of housebreaking, malicious damage to property, and racism at the local police station.

The 19-year-old, AgriScience student Babalo Ndwayana said he has been left traumatised by the ordeal.

Accompanied by the South African Students Congress (SASCO), Ndwayana has opened a case against his perpetrator.

“I am still traumatised. I cannot speak on the matter. I have opened a case of housebreaking, malicious damage to property, and racism.”

Student leaders are hoping the university will use the case to take a stand against racism.

“We stand with other students that the perpetrator be expelled. We would like to see institutional changes. It was in the media last year that De Huis Marais was to be disbanded, but it wasn’t. We are now at a place where the conversation is about whether it should be disbanded. This matter is indicative that De Huis Marais is not ready for a change in cultural transformation in Stellenbosch,” says SRC president Viwe Khobokana.

VIDEO: Students protest following Stellenbosch University racism incident: