×

We've got news for you.

Register on TimesLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

LISTEN | Stellenbosch sets up independent race inquiry but students threaten shutdown

19 May 2022 - 14:31
Marchers are greeted at the Stellenbosch University administration building on May 19 2022 by, from left, vice-chancellor and rector Wim de Villiers and deputy vice-chancellors Deresh Ramjugernath, Hester Klopper and Nico Koopman.
Marchers are greeted at the Stellenbosch University administration building on May 19 2022 by, from left, vice-chancellor and rector Wim de Villiers and deputy vice-chancellors Deresh Ramjugernath, Hester Klopper and Nico Koopman.
Image: Bobby Jordan

Stellenbosch University will set up an external independent commission of inquiry into incidents of racism and harassment, rector and vice-chancellor Wim de Villiers said on Thursday.

But after heckling De Villiers and forcing him to retreat into the administration building, about 300 students who had marched through the town shut down the university library and threatened to shut down the whole institution on Friday.

LISTEN | Stellenbosch University commits to addressing racism and harassment

De Villiers announced the commission of inquiry while speaking to students protesting about Sunday's racist incident in which a white student, Theuns du Toit, entered the room of a black student, Babalo Ndwayana, and urinated on his laptop and other belongings.

The incident, which Ndwayana filmed with his cellphone, has led to calls for Du Toit's expulsion. Ndwayana has also laid criminal charges against him.

In his address to the students, De Villiers appealed to them to allow “due process” in the university's investigation of Sunday's incident.

But the students said they would sleep on the steps of the administration building and shut down the university on Friday unless Du Toit is expelled. 

De Villiers was heckled when he made a remarked about “alleged” racism. He was shouted down when his remarks failed to satisfy the students' demands for swift action against Du Toit, the son of a Worcester wine farmer, and left the gathering with the rest of the university leadership team. 

TimesLIVE

Support independent journalism by subscribing to the Sunday Times. Just R20 for the first month.


subscribe

Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

Commenting is subject to our house rules.