Stellenbosch University (SU) strongly condemns the incident recorded at Huis Marais, evidently motivated by racist and destructive behaviour. The University deeply values respect, compassion, equity, accountability and excellence in all interactions and conduct. For this reason, the university leadership acted as swiftly as possible to uphold the protection of individual dignity and its culture of inclusivity. The cell phone video records an appalling incident at Huis Marais that is not acceptable by any standard.
The alleged perpetrator was suspended from the university at the earliest opportunity on Monday and excluded from Huis Marais, pending the detailed and swift investigation that is currently underway. While the investigation is receiving priority attention, it is critical that proper governance and procedures are followed for a decisive outcome which will allow for the full extent of the law as well as compliance with the university’s governance regulations to be applied. Permanent expulsion and/or criminal charges are possible outcomes based on the investigation’s findings.
Despite the University’s strongest condemnation of any incident motivated by racism, coupled with the significant and understandable public outcry, the due process of law must be followed to secure a solidly defensible outcome to the situation at hand. The final outcome must set the precedent to avoid any repeat of proven breaches of the right to personal human dignity on the SU campus in the future.
The matter enjoys top priority, and a final outcome is expected in the next few days whereafter further media statements and engagement will be possible.
SU is committed to support the victim of the incident with equipment and counselling to ensure his academic progress is not affected by the incident.
Please note that further communication will follow as soon as new facts on the investigation emerge and can be shared.