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By Carien Grobler

Deputy Digital Editor


Stellenbosch University invites interested parties to comment on ‘house of horrors’ future

"The Council acknowledges the deeply divided opinions on the future of Wilgenhof, touching on issues of tradition, inclusivity, and the university's values."


Following extensive deliberation, the Stellenbosch University (SU) Council, on Monday discussed the Rector’s recommendation — backed unanimously by the Rectorate — that the Wilgenhof men’s residence should be closed in its current form.

This recommendation aligns with the principal findings of a panel tasked with investigating disturbing contents found in two rooms at Wilgenhof earlier this year. Rector and Vice-Chancellor Professor Wim de Villiers additionally proposed that the building be retained as an upgraded residence, a report by the SU read.

The redacted report from the panel can be accessed here.

ALSO READ: Shocking secrets in SU Wilgenhof residence; closure recommended by panel

Complexities warrant further consultation

According to the report, the discovery of the content in the two rooms has understandably evoked strong reactions from students, parents, alumni, and other stakeholders. “The Council acknowledges the deeply divided opinions on the future of Wilgenhof, touching on issues of tradition, inclusivity, and the university’s values.”

In light of these complexities, the Council has decided that the Rector’s recommendation warrants further consultation and consideration.

Submission of written representations

Therefore, the Council invites all interested parties to submit written representations addressing:

  1. The implications of closing or not closing Wilgenhof and the issues to be considered.
  2. The potential outcomes of accepting the Rector’s proposal to redesign Wilgenhof as a different or upgraded residence.
  3. Alternatives to closure that could reasonably address concerns raised in the Panel’s report, along with suggested success indicators.

The submission period starts on Wednesday, 26 June 2024, at 09:00. All representations must be submitted in writing by 17:00 on Wednesday, 31 July 2024, via the online platform.

Once all submissions are reviewed, the SU Council will provide further guidance on the next steps.

NOW READ: Wilgenhof: Report spotlights Nagligte-KKK-Nazism parallels

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