Stellenbosch University: Student lays charges following ‘racist’ incident
The Students’ Representative Council has called for the alleged perpetrator to be expelled.
A general view of Stellenbosch University on 12 June 2020 in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Picture: Gallo Images/Ashley Vlotman
The university on Monday suspended first-year law student, Theuns Du Toit, following an apparent racist incident.
A video surfaced on social media showing Du Toit urinating on Babalo Ndwayana’s books and laptop after breaking into his room at Huis Marais residence in the early hours of Sunday morning.
It is alleged that when Ndwayana – who is a first-year student in agricultural business management – questioned Du Toit about his actions, he responded that “is what they do to black boys”.
The matter saw the university launching an investigation into the incident.
Despite Du Toit apologising for his actions, the student could potentially face serious charges, according to Stellenbosch University chancellor Edwin Cameron.
“It is possible for criminal charges to arise out of the kind of gross humiliation of another person’s dignity, the criminal offence of crimen injuria – which you can do through words or actions.
The Students’ Representative Council (SRC) has called for Du Toit to be expelled.
Meanwhile, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has indicated that it has received two complaints and has also started its own investigation regarding the alleged racism incident.
Good Hope Seminary
The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has responded to the racism allegations at the Good Hope Seminary High School.
The demonstrations were sparked by an incident that took place last week where an Indian pupil allegedly used an American racial slur (N-word) against a black pupil.
“When the incident was finally heard by the teacher who is in charge of us grade 12s, I think she swept it under the carpet.
“She was just taking sides in it… she took the other girl’s side who used the N-word on another black [pupil] at our school,” one of the matric pupils told eNCA.
The matriculant pointed out that the pupils have been complaining about racism at the school since 2018.
“We have had cases where our principal uses the word ‘darkie’ to black girls, where teachers refer to girls as looking like domestic workers, where black girls are told we shouldn’t be at the school [and that] we should go to the townships because we can’t speak Afrikaans,” she said.
The WCED has since indicated that it was aware of the alleged remarks “as well as other concerns raised by the Grade 12 class”.
“The WCED has visited the school to engage with the principal and the pupils. The principal has already met with their representatives to discuss their concerns,” the provincial department said in a statement.
The department said the pupil accused of using the derogatory name apologised to the alleged victim after they met.
“A report received from the school indicates that at no stage did the pupil sit in a meeting with the accused teacher.
“The teacher has indicated that upon hearing about the alleged incident, the two pupils were asked to engage with each other and an apology issued by the accused. This happened on two occasions with both parties indicating that the matter had been resolved.”
The department further said it had not received any complaints recently regarding the school.
“The priority is to ensure that teaching and learning resumes and that the issues raised are heard, addressed and resolved.”