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Blade Nzimande commends university for suspending student behind 'racist' incident

Ernest Mabuza Journalist
Higher education, science and technology minister Blade Nzimande. File picture
Blade Nzimande Higher education, science and technology minister Blade Nzimande. File picture
Image: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS

Higher education, science and technology minister Blade Nzimande on Wednesday condemned “in the strongest terms” what he said appeared to be a blatantly racist act at Stellenbosch University's Huis Marais student residence.

The incident was captured on video and the footage widely circulated on social media. It showed a white student, Theuns du Toit, in the room of a black student, Babalo Ndwayana, where du Toit was seen urinating on Ndwanyana's laptop and study material. 

The incident happened in the early hours of Sunday morning. 

“The minister welcomes the swift action taken by the university to suspend the perpetrator of this shameful and dehumanising act against another student and urges the university to take the strongest action to ensure that the university does not provide sanctuary to racists.

“There is no place for such behaviour or people at our universities,” the ministry said in a statement.

Nzimande is awaiting a report from the university after a disciplinary hearing scheduled for Friday.

Nzimande directed that the affected student be provided with the necessary support and comfort to ensure that he is not violated further.

He called on the university to ensure that it enforces a zero-tolerance policy towards racism.

“The minister further asserts that the incident, like similar past incidents, point to a fundamental question about the continued persistence of oppressive social structures in parts of South African society that fosters a disposition in which a young person endows himself the right to behave in the most egregious and abominable racist manner against a fellow human being,” the statement from his office said. 

Speaking to eNCA on Wednesday evening, Nzimande said there were still families that were fostering racist attitudes.

“That is why I am saying this is a broader societal matter.”


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