Stellenbosch University's (SU) main priority is to provide an inclusive environment for all its students and to maintain a safe student community where social cohesion is promoted to provide quality tertiary education for all. The University deeply values respect, compassion, equity, accountability and excellence in all its interactions and conduct. Stellenbosch University 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.
The University strongly condemns the destructive, hurtful and racist incident that was captured on a cell phone video in the Huis Marais residence on the Stellenbosch University campus in the early hours of Sunday morning. The alleged perpetrator was suspended from the University today. A further swift but detailed investigation will determine the final outcomes. Expulsion and/or criminal charges are not excluded from the possible available options, based on the investigation's findings.
Such destructive behaviour is totally unacceptable and undermines what SU stands for as well as the many continuous focused efforts made towards building inclusive student communities at Stellenbosch University. The University strives to ensure a strong sense of belonging among all our students and many conscious efforts are undertaken by its Division for Student Affairs and other departments with this in mind.
“We are appalled by this type of behaviour. Such conduct will not be tolerated at the University," says Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University. “We acted swiftly and decisively to uphold our commitment to a culture of inclusivity. What happened at Huis Marais is not acceptable. No student has the right to diminish another student's human dignity or rights in this way," he adds.
The Huis Marais residence management was made aware of the incident during the day on Sunday, whereafter they immediately reported it to the relevant university structures for urgent investigation. The residence management strongly condemned the incident and took steps to manage the repercussions in the residence. It is important to note that the alleged perpetrating student was removed and is no longer residing in Huis Marais. Transformation and inclusivity are key priorities for house committees at all SU residences.
“The student affected is clearly still in shock after his very upsetting and painful ordeal. He is still trying to process what happened and was offered counselling. He will be supported as and when required to ensure his academic progress is not affected by the incident," Dr Choice Makhetha, Senior Director: Student Affairs adds. “The Huis Marais house committee is committed to transformation. Our quick and decisive response to the matter at hand, should demonstrate our commitment to all people of this country. They also called a house meeting to ensure that the whole house understands the situation and what needs to continue to change to prevent a repeat of any similar action," concludes Dr Makhetha.