Inquiry into Stellies 'purple face' debacle starts

2016-03-17 13:48


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Cape Town - Stellenbosch University's commission of inquiry into the way the ''purple face'' incident was handled started on Thursday, the university said.

Commissioner advocate Renate Williams SC has started her work into the saga in which student Poekie Bredenham dressed up as an alien for a space-themed party, completing the look with purple body paint and glitter.

In photographs taken at the beginning of February, they looked as though they had painted themselves dark brown, immediately setting off cries that she was making fun of black people by choosing a ''black face'' costume to the party at the Heemstede residence.

Critics of the ''black face'' costume were still smarting over an incident last year when two University of Pretoria students went to a party painted black and dressed up as domestic workers.

Bredenham explained that they were actually purple glitter-covered aliens but apologised for any offence she had caused.

She was suspended and stripped of her role as mentor. Other selfies depicted Bredenham as purple and questions were raised over whether the women were being treated fairly.

They were subsequently cleared by the university but opposition party Freedom Front Plus complained to the SA Human Rights Commission over the way the controversy had been handled.

The university said advocate Williams's report on the matter would be submitted by March 30.

Read more on:    stellenbosch university  |  cape town

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