'Blackface' students expelled from residence

2014-08-07 09:57

Johannesburg - Two white students photographed in domestic worker outfits and smeared with black paint have been kicked out of their campus residence, the University of Pretoria (UP) said on Thursday.

"They were expelled from the residence but not from university," UP spokesperson Nicolize Mulder said.

They are accused of bringing the name of the university into disrepute.

The students' actions were considered racist by many people who had commented on social networks with the hashtag #blackface.

Further investigation

"This is pending further investigation and the disciplinary process," she said.

The two female students could still attend classes as "due process" needed to be followed.

Mulder declined to provide information on what the two students were studying, or their ages.

The picture shows the pair in domestic worker outfits with black paint smeared on their faces and arms. They pose with headscarves and padded bottoms. The picture was also published in various newspapers this week.

Mulder said the picture was taken at a private 21st birthday party but because they were students at the institution an investigation was launched.

She said the university would not tolerate any form of discrimination or racist behaviour by any of its staff or students.

"The behaviour by the students in the photograph is completely unacceptable," Mulder said on Wednesday.

Distasteful and racist - Sasco

The SA Students Congress (Sasco) said it felt particularly angered by the picture and accused white people and the university of teaching its youth to disrespect black people.

"It is clear to us that the white community assisted by institutions of white privilege, like UP, are teaching white youth to disrespect and poke fun at black suffering," Sasco president Ntuthuko Makhombothi said on Wednesday.

"We have absolutely no confidence in the supposed disciplinary action the university seeks to institute against their precious white students,"

Makhombothi said the picture was distasteful and "racist to the extreme."

"Black women in our country continue to suffer from triple oppression as black, female, and working class. This incident ridicules the situation of black women in our country and reinforces racist stereotypes about our mothers."

He said the continued existence of "institutions of white privilege" was an untenable "crisis", and that the patience of black people in South Africa was "quickly diminishing".

"Black students will not fold their arms as their suffering and that of their parents is made fun of. The dignity of Africans cannot be trampled on without consequences to the perpetrators."

  • Ria Cook - 2014-08-07 10:01


      Japie JJ du Toit - 2014-08-07 10:05

      oversensitive nation we are - a innocent party how many people go to dress up parties for fun - just want to know - what about the Coconut which was played on TV - how much racist is that ??????

      Cautious But Wise - 2014-08-07 10:12

      After following this and lightning being called racist in SA, I'm beginning to think black South Africans have a serious minority complex. It seems they are trying their best to feel better about themselves by degrading non-black South Africans. This is a serious cultural issue that needs urgent attention since leaving it as is will quickly escalate and result in massive civil unrest when non-whites say enough is enough and stop taking this cr@p.

      Cautious But Wise - 2014-08-07 10:15

      Meant non-blacks in the last sentence. All this thinking in black in white is all too confusing. Why not just keep things simple and call people people?

      Clive Wannenburg - 2014-08-07 10:18

      Sue them as it was a private 21st party and had nothing to do with them, i think this case has been blown totally out of control.

      Gavin Venter - 2014-08-07 10:18

      but if Jacob Zuma stands before the nation and lies his ass off about all the money he and his party have stolen - he gets voted back into power. nowadays you can't even fart and you're a racist. apart-hate isn't dead, it's just under new management. a good story to tell, yes, indeed.

      Phil Galpin - 2014-08-07 10:20

      I still see a court case pending. On the basis of Freedom of Expression (in private) where does this leave those of a minority view, especially those of an alternative sexual orientation? Who said 'I totally disagree with their views but will defend to the death their right to hold/speak them'?

      Tshaga Tetelo - 2014-08-07 10:38

      They must be taught a lesson that it now post 1994, and they should behave accordingly, most people especially the N24 commentators think is still pre 1994

      Lynn O'Shea Comley-White - 2014-08-07 10:48

      Pathetic!! So now a person can't go to a fancy dress party and dress up as an Indian or Geisha or Taiwanese dancer or any other nationality on this earth because it will be racist!?? Political correctness is going too far now!

      Alien42063 - 2014-08-07 10:50

      You know those performers nxt to the street that paint their faces white? Why are they not labeled racist and being prosecuted? Pathetic man!

      Francois Vorster - 2014-08-07 10:58

      The University of Pretoria is a sick place, as an old student I am disgusted is their action and I want no further part of this tribal collage.

      Mc Apple - 2014-08-07 10:58

      I don't know hey. I've seen black woman in other African countries that dressed like that. Everyone sure they dressed up as black South African domestics? Maybe they where dressed up as Mozambiquen spaza shops owners or Malawian street vendors.

      Adriaan de Laat - 2014-08-07 11:15

      Ok,so if we do a dress up party and everybody has to dress up like a Bum,how will they charge you!!? Blerrie belaglik!!

      Craig Drysdale - 2014-08-07 11:17

      My dear lord. This is so unfair.

  • Maree Van Staden - 2014-08-07 10:04


  • John Block - 2014-08-07 10:05

    This wasn't necessary. This is not racism. This is pathetic.

      PointBlank - 2014-08-07 10:15

      I agree, just bloody stupid. Racist? Maybe, white South Africans must stop thinking that mocking black people is "fun".

  • Lima - 2014-08-07 10:05

    Crying shame!

  • louri.jacobs - 2014-08-07 10:06

    This is getting way out of control, this is pure innocent fun. So if this is racist please arrenst al the black people with white paint on their face.

      Mpho Abrams - 2014-08-07 10:31

      I guess we should also arrest all the white people who are in the circus business for putting on white paint on their face for artistic discipline of perfoming as a clown or movement artist, better yet lets go dig up Charlie Chaplin too and arrest him.

      Rassie Erasmus - 2014-08-07 10:47

      No, don't arrest them, just put them out of there homes!!

  • Hentie Norval - 2014-08-07 10:06

    I cannot see what the fuss is about!! If there is being steps taken against them! I demand steps must be taken against Leon Schuster, he did exactly the same!!

      Lynn O'Shea Comley-White - 2014-08-07 10:51

      Yes and he does it often and on public forums but because it is all in fun and on movies, it is ok? Does he get permission from the government to dress up as a black person? It doubt it! This was a private party (unfortunately put on the internet so everyone sees it.)

  • Rudolph Buys - 2014-08-07 10:07

    So I presume that black female students straightening and dying their hair and wearing wigs is also racist?

      Mpho Abrams - 2014-08-07 10:29

      Black women do not put on weaves or wigs to look white, lol!!! Are you serious!? Look at ELLE shoots, modelling arts etc...most of it is cosmetic beauty and I have never seen a black girl in weave or a wig trying to look white...hahahahaha dude! This is so far from the point!

      Pamela Zwane - 2014-08-07 10:54

      I guess whites have a monopoly on straight hair and hair colour. Go sue the Indians and Latinas, since they not supposed to have such luxuries.

  • Luann Cronje - 2014-08-07 10:07

    If it was black students that were re-enacting white people there would not have been steps taken!! Ai ai shame

      KevinKing - 2014-08-07 10:20

      Every human being on this earth is offended in some way or the other. Some humans can accept this, others opt for the inferiority complex.

      Tersia Louw - 2014-08-07 10:51

      Quite a lot of people have an inferiority complex because they earned it.

  • Alta Steyn - 2014-08-07 10:09

    And did this not happen at a "private" party? Totally ridiculous!

      Mabandla Mkhize - 2014-08-07 11:43

      it doesn't mater where; It was meant for fun nothing else but just that fun!

  • Sean - 2014-08-07 10:09

    Ban Eddie Murphy movies please he plays white guys in them! I demand the censor board ban all his movies now! He is a racist!

      Marius Roodt - 2014-08-07 10:58

      Add the movie white girls to the list, which also seems to be a sabc favorite.

  • Khutso Bokaba - 2014-08-07 10:09

    Very stupid move by UP, there's totally nothing racist about their dressing, the SABC should ban Leon Schuster's movies if this is racism!!! Ai

  • Kobus Hattingh - 2014-08-07 10:10

    Disgusting! Shame on this University! THEY and not these two students are the ones promoting racism!

      Herman Booysen - 2014-08-07 11:06

      Exactly by their actions they have turned into racism and associated it with them. One thing I don't understand was this on the UP premises ? If not and it was private , how did students put the university's name in dispute as it were a private matter ? Or did I miss something ?

      Mabandla Mkhize - 2014-08-07 11:45

      mind it, it happened several times in movies.

  • Alta Steyn - 2014-08-07 10:10

    Take note people: private is not private anymore.

      Conrad Marshall - 2014-08-07 10:29

      true, but remember - anything posted on a social network site is in the public domain, and not private anymore. lesson here- think before posting on a social network.

      Herman Booysen - 2014-08-07 11:08

      Conrad, agree , but how did the UP then got associated with it ?

  • tom.drems - 2014-08-07 10:13

    Why the #racist tag? So advanced makeup artists are not allowed to makeup someone as to look like an African, but the are aloowed to makeup them as to look like clowns, wiches, chinese girls with narrow eyes and black wigs, farmers, hippis, etc? What bunch of idiots?!

  • Jean Steyn - 2014-08-07 10:15

    Michael Jackson even had surgery to appear more Caucasian. He was such a racist and so are all his fans.

  • Mandy Morck - 2014-08-07 10:16

    We have a lot to worry about in this country than waisting time complaining about young girls having fun at a party

  • Joe Casquilho - 2014-08-07 10:16

    They should go study in Europe or America, send the UP to hell with all their "hurt" little children, go where you will be appreciated and where people are not so childish, next thing you know they will say Trevor Noah is also racist.

  • Hendrick Viljoon - 2014-08-07 10:17

    Just wish we could let go and move on already making a fuss out of all so called racist incidents aint taking our country anywhere, as much as a lot of white people in SA still look down on black people these two students did not mean no harm

  • Wynand Smit - 2014-08-07 10:17

    Rassisme se gat!

  • Molefi Leviy Motshabi - 2014-08-07 10:17

    i'm getting myself khakhi short pants and shirts,and some skop om dood brown shoes...

      Molefi Leviy Motshabi - 2014-08-07 10:35

      hahaha and those funny brown hats,plus a 1993isuzu kb bakkie

      Molefi Leviy Motshabi - 2014-08-07 10:43

      lmao im in stitches the beauty of this country let me work.

      Christian Evans - 2014-08-07 11:15

      Love you man!!!!

      Lilian Looney - 2014-08-07 11:20

      Just don't use white paint Molefi. You may be accused of being racist. Love your humour!

  • Jean Steyn - 2014-08-07 10:17

    Leon Schuster should also be charged with racism by Tuks.

      Boitumelo Monareng - 2014-08-07 10:22

      jean pls grow up,in ur eyes ths is funny ne

  • Luané Swart - 2014-08-07 10:17

    This has gotten SO out of hand! If I were either one of these 2 girls I'd pack my bags and move to a better country!! South Africa will NEVER change.

  • Boitumelo Monareng - 2014-08-07 10:17

    guys having to c ths on the news yesterday,i knew that it wasnt jst pure fun,they may not hv bn racist bt they were clearly mocking the black domestic workers,in their minds it means whites cant b domestic workers,well besides tht it also says tht blk ppl hv big asses,they cudve dressed as blk nurses,teachers or anything bt definately nt domestic workers,and pls dont say ths is blown out of protection bcos ul never knw hw it feels lyk to b a blk domestic worker, ppl are hurt by ths thing,if you tht ppl are exagerating then jump to the next article,before u bite my head off remember ths,i come in peace and i dnt wana fight abt ths!!

      Sulette Behnke - 2014-08-07 10:38

      I don't know about that. My domestic worker says she would embrace the courage they show to re inact her culture and position in life. I mean really they could have decided to dress like divas instead? Surely for a young girl that would be more beneficial?

      Pamela Zwane - 2014-08-07 10:40

      Sulette. Your maid lied to you. How does being a domestic worker a part of someones culture?

  • Mike TheoneAndonly Meets - 2014-08-07 10:17

    Agree with carlos, where ever blacks walk they destroy, UP and black south africans who find it racist is causing racial tension and if those white girls were not racist b4 im sure they are now cos i would be lol

      Boitumelo Monareng - 2014-08-07 10:21

      and you find ths funny?ae

      Pamela Zwane - 2014-08-07 10:25

      Racist undertones! How about the Romanians I guess they are black. Read more about international race relations and not just South Africa.

      Lilian Looney - 2014-08-07 11:23

      Mike, I don't find what those girls did is racist but I do find your comment very racist.

      Pamela Zwane - 2014-08-07 11:30

      Thank you Lilian, not racist but distasteful and their punishment was a bit harsh. As for Mike, education wouldn't help him.

  • Veronica Gugu Phiri - 2014-08-07 10:18

    Having fun by making fun of others must stop. If it wasn't racial why the hell was there an emphasis on skin colour to this so called joke? Such behaviour feeds the racial issues and stereotype we have in the country. Lots of racial incidents have occurred even post-apartheid. White ppl should know and understand that racism is real and painful and be responsible enough to understand the negative impact it had and still have to the ppl pf this country especially blacks.

      tom.drems - 2014-08-07 10:28

      I don't want to sound like stupid, but what is racism?

      Lilian Looney - 2014-08-07 11:25

      Veronica, for heaven's sake chill. It's people like you that keeps up the racial divide. I always taught my children that if you can't laugh at yourselves, don't laugh at others. Maybe a lesson for all South Africans, black and white.

  • Anesimo Leeanne Mapapu - 2014-08-07 10:18

    Not that they were not aware of what they were doing, it was their way of expressing how they feel abt blacks nd and where they think belongs, eish will never be equal in this country shame, they will always think the worst of us and they will always undermine us.

      Conrad Marshall - 2014-08-07 10:31

      how do you know how they feel about Blacks? do you know them personally? don't generalise....

      Lilian Looney - 2014-08-07 11:26

      Of course we will never be equal if the race card is dished out like confetti. Pathetic actually

      Wanie Ndobeni - 2014-08-07 12:02

      you right sister and then after they will tell you to chill

  • Cliff Slabbert - 2014-08-07 10:19

    How absolutely pathetic!

  • dan.butler.7967 - 2014-08-07 10:19

    So how is the expulsion from residence going to solve anything? How absolutely pathetic!!

  • tony.ribeiro.77 - 2014-08-07 10:19

    Make a fuss of student fun but the pamphlets circulating around the pukke campus inciting racism, nothing is said!!! Where is sasco condemning the pamphlets? Bunch of two faced nincompoops!!!!

  • Pamela Zwane - 2014-08-07 10:20

    Not racist but distasteful and insensitive. How can you justify mocking others suffering? How about a black student dressing up as a white farmer with gunshot wounds "make-up" on his head? Blackface is internationally frowned upon, not unique to SA.

      Pamela Zwane - 2014-08-07 10:36

      Shelley I see you chose to reply only a part of my comment. Hypocrite? Do you think the maids enjoy being maids? Take off your blinkers!

      Sulette Behnke - 2014-08-07 10:38

      I can't see the mocking of suffering?

      ryan.holland.395454 - 2014-08-07 10:40

      What do you have against domestic workers? I think it's a perfectly acceptable form of employment. Comparing them to murder victims, wow!

      Pamela Zwane - 2014-08-07 10:51

      Ryan and Sulette. Come be my maids. Will organise you both a shack in Alex. R3000pm and after 19 years of service i will get my 2 brats to do the "whiteface". Pain is pain!! Murder victims hit a nerve? Thats the suffering of white people, thats my cue to put on my blinkers! As I have observed from whites towards black suffering.

      RyanandRaschelle Roberts - 2014-08-07 10:54

      Pamela, are you not putting them down by calling them "maids" ? Is that term not frowned upon? Anna, the lady who used to work for my Gran, has been with our family for 54 years, she lives on the property and now gets a pension! She is part of our family, i even called her "gogo" as a child! We have put her kids through school, so I have to disagree that they are "suffering" . yes in some cases i can imagine working conditions and wages to be weak. But to say everyone is suffering is distasteful and shows your lack of knowledge on the subject which leads to you stereotyping all such woman.

      ryan.holland.395454 - 2014-08-07 11:18

      "Murder victims hit a nerve", no, I'm indifferent to the suffering caused by murder, just like you. WTF Just a suggestion, try and encourage South Africans to stop voting for such mediocrity. At the moment, poverty is self inflicted and it's hard to sympathize.

      ryan.holland.395454 - 2014-08-07 11:31

      Sonnyboy, farmers, just like any group of people, are a diverse group. Your logic, which paints white murder victims as racists, dehumanizes the individual and betrays a vast lack of empathy towards your fellow creatures. I'm glad I don't know you and those around you would probably do well to avoid you.

  • Siphe Mbini - 2014-08-07 10:20

    I personally didn't expect white people to find that picture racist,some of them don't even think apartheid was racist

  • Justin Barnes - 2014-08-07 10:21

    I am not white but when they sing Kill The Boer, it is justified as part of the struggle songs!! Talk about double standards, So all comedians who make fun of the races must be held accountable. I saw a pic of a black guy wearing a t-shirt "100% Boer and the Old SA flag. It is called fun, try it.UP is just trying to save face. All retailers please stop selling the outfits that are used by domestics you are bringing your brand into disrepute.

  • Izak Gabriël Beukes - 2014-08-07 10:21

    Isn't that exactly what female EFF members do in parlement?

  • Shawon Tiltman - 2014-08-07 10:22

    Wat about Leon schusters and Eddie Murphy movie white girls where we're these radical skin color comandos eating kfc and laughing at the very same movies hip o critical graveyard train wannabes. ..

  • Lara A. - 2014-08-07 10:23

    Since when is dressing up like a different cultural group for a party racism?!?

  • Thabo Phasoana - 2014-08-07 10:24

    UP sucks!!! Nothing racist about the pic. Its just stereotypical behaviour i have a problem with.

  • Mpho Abrams - 2014-08-07 10:24

    Its amazing that 90% of the comments here are in support of these girls: "oversensitive" "..."you do not know student life." , "this is not rascism". They are UP students right? does that not entail that they know right from wrong, does that not entail that they should have some sensitivity? Black people suffered opression because of apartheid and all the opportunities we have today some domestic workers never had because of apartheid, they ended up having to clean after these brats because of what the old system took from them - OPPORTUNITIES. These girls are from a new generation and this is not just "HARMLESS FUN!". Hollywood has so many characters they could have dressed like to a 21st bday and I bet u the K word must have been thrown somewhere there whilst the drinks where flying. These girls from this new generation were probably the some of the hypocritical idiots who paid tribute to Madiba when he passed but continue to belittle the people Tata fought for, to get equal rights and be treated with respect. If you are not black, never seen how most of these women suffer to put food on the table, clothe and pay for their kids education then I do not expect you to see anything wrong with this...then again we are a "oversensitive" nation and "we do not understand the student life." Do not make stupid arguments if you have never looked on the other side and taken time to understand the trials and tribulations of these women who work hard to make a living. This is a shame!

      Boitumelo Monareng - 2014-08-07 10:33

      mpho these ppl will never understand

      tom.drems - 2014-08-07 10:35

      Mpho Abrahams, i dont want to sound like stupid, but what exactly is racism?

  • Given - 2014-08-07 10:24

    This is a tiping point that racism reaching it peak,even innocent act considered racism and i have just notes calling people to rebell against racism in anyway they can.ströng intervetion is needed to halt possible situation like that one 1990's 'kill the boer,kill the farmer'

  • Kratervark Karools - 2014-08-07 10:25

    We need to get over ourselves and learn to laugh at ourselves! Until then racial tension will prevail. Mulder needs to wash off the brown ring around his neck! It was a private party and has NOTHING to do with the university!

  • Christiaan Hattingh - 2014-08-07 10:27

    I guess Johnny Clegg therefore is also a racist. And so is all of his fans.

      Mi Opinion - 2014-08-07 11:19

      Watch this space ... Afriforum will become involved.

  • Bruwer - 2014-08-07 10:27

    You are better off outside Hattfield , it already gone to the dogs

  • Stephen Townshend - 2014-08-07 10:28

    I had no idea my Alma Mater now considers itself to be the Thought Police. I am disappointed.

  • Sulette Behnke - 2014-08-07 10:29

    If they dressed like Hitler they would also be in trouble or a farmer. Petty fools for taking the fun out of a party

  • Stephanes Heunis - 2014-08-07 10:31


  • Lucinda Curtis - 2014-08-07 10:32

    Distasteful, but definitely not racist.

      Pamela Zwane - 2014-08-07 11:16

      Prepare for the thumbs down brigade!

  • Nadia Hoffmann - 2014-08-07 10:33

    "their precious white students" - how is that not racist hmmm?

  • Lesley Smith - 2014-08-07 10:33

    MMMMMMM- NOW Media 24 could QUICKLY give the RACE of the students!! When Malema and his cronies display racist banners in their meetings - threatening to ill whites- Media 24, the unions and the misfit leftist liberals seems "OK" with long as NO WHITE steps " over the line.- THEN ir is world news and a transgression against the God of the liberal mount Olympus.MEDIA 24 AND THE UNIONS AS BASTIONS OF HYPOCRACY!!!!!

  • Mxolisi Zondo - 2014-08-07 10:33

    Blackface is internationally frowned upon, it's not unique to SA. I can't believe there's people trying to justify this!

      theJoPot - 2014-08-07 10:53

      It is a costume party. I don't understand why this offends you

      Mxolisi Zondo - 2014-08-07 11:13

      Jo it doesn't just offend me, it offends every single race that has ever been oppressed, you obviously wouldn't understand that. in Germany,The Germans would never dress as Jews, they know it's a very sensitive matter.

      Elton Laine - 2014-08-07 11:42

      Mxolisi Zondo take it into context. I doubt these two girls are racist, perhaps just stupid. If they knew they where doing something bad or intentionally did something racist, they would not pose for pictures.

  • kpacesa - 2014-08-07 10:34

    Woman have been encouraged to wear a doek for woman's month !!!! Lighten up

      Smangele Shabalala - 2014-08-07 11:04

      Not paint their skin!

  • Johan Nothnagel - 2014-08-07 10:35

    I see every day on the streets and work that balck ladies wears white womans earings, cloting, make up, high heel shoes and fake blonde hair..... Everyday !!!! Are they called 'whiteface' ?????? Nothing done to them thou - this country is so Racism driven and not future driven.....

      Smangele Shabalala - 2014-08-07 11:02

      What you are saying is:earings,make-up high heels are for white people and doeks and whatever those girls where wearing are for black people?