‘Racist’ student apologises

2009-10-02 13:16

DISCIPLINARY measures have been taken against a Rhodes University

student who yelled racist comments at a professor and his family.

The university announced that the culprit, whose identity is being

withheld, must serve 50 hours of compulsory service and write a five-page essay

on racism and other similar intolerances. He has been given a suspended

expulsion. In a statement issued by vice-chancellor Dr Saleem Badat, the

incident occurred during an intervarsity weekend on August 14.

Professor Fackson Banda was travelling in a car with his family

when they were stopped by a group of six drunk students who blockaded the road.

But the Banda’s managed to inch the car past the group as one of the students

shouted “Niggers!”.

Badat condemned the incident. “I wish to make it clear that such

behaviour will under no circumstances be tolerated at Rhodes University” he

said.

The offender was identified by a fellow student and initially

denied any involvement. After being presented with a list of possible scenarios,

he decided to come clean.

The following day he returned with two letters of apology written

to Professor Banda and the vice-chancellor. The matter was handed over to the

university disciplinary tribunal, where a mediator decided on an appropriate

punishment for the student.

Banda said: “I am absolutely overwhelmed with the support I got

from the university which led to the culprit stepping forward”. He said while he

was under no illusion that the incident could eradicate racism from the campus,

the decision demonstrated transformational leadership.

Badat’s office is expected to convene a meeting between the student

and Banda’s family where the student is expected to apologise personally. – West

Cape News.


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