The University of Stellenbosch has expelled student Theuns du Toit after finding him guilty of contravening a number of rules of the university.
In a statement on Thursday evening, the university said it had found Du Toit of contravening clause 9.3 of the general rules, which reads: “A student shall not act in a manner that is racist, unfairly discriminatory, violent, grossly insulting, abusive or intimidating against any other person. This prohibition extends but is not limited to conduct which causes either mental or physical harm, is intended to cause humiliation, or which assails the dignity of any other person.”
He was also found guilty of engaging in conduct that adversely affected the university and a member of the university community and contravening the Amended Residence Rules, which read: “Students and residences should, at all times act in such a manner that no discomfort or disturbance of peace is caused to the occupants or other residences in the area.”
“These findings led the CDC to conclude that there is no alternative but to expel Mr Du Toit with immediate effect from the University,” said the university.
Du Toit has been given five workdays to file a notice of appeal against the CDC’s finding and/or sanction.
“Stellenbosch University (SU) strongly condemns any form of racism, discrimination or other prejudice. Human dignity is non-negotiable at SU and must be respected and upheld. When such dignity is affected, it must be restored following due process, the rule of law, and the full extent to which the constitution protects the rights of all in our country. There is no place for racism or victimisation of any kind at SU,” said Stellenbosch University.
Commenting on the outcome, Prof Deresh Ramjugernath, SU Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Learning and Teaching, said: “The University viewed this case in a very serious light. This was evident in, among others, the original temporary suspension of Mr Du Toit from the University while also appointing Justice Sisi Khampepe to lead an independent commission of enquiry into alleged racism at SU. The University takes a zero-tolerance approach to racism, discrimination, prejudice and conduct which assails the dignity of another person. SU management took note of the sanction imposed and will be studying the details of the CDC’s finding.”
Du Toit made headlines in May for urinating on a black student’s books and laptop after breaking into his room at the Huis Marais residence.
The Unisa Law Clinic, which represented victim Babalo Ndwayana, has welcomed the decision.
“We are not ignorant of the fact that the decision may still be appealed and we trust that this is not a tactic by the university to calm the waters in the interim. This is the only way that matters of this nature should be dealt with. We are pleased to see this historic decision being made within the university.”
Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde