'We deserve a university free of hatred' - Edwin Cameron installed as SU's new chancellor

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  • Edwin Cameron has been installed as the chancellor of Stellenbosch University.
  • It comes just a few days after the university made headlines following an alleged racist incident at the Huis Marais residence. 
  • Cameron said people deserved a university that was free of disrespect, hatred and degradation.

Former Constitutional Court Judge Edwin Cameron was on Wednesday evening officially installed as the 15th chancellor of Stellenbosch University at the Kruiskerk in Stellenbosch.

It comes just a few days after the university made headlines following an alleged racist incident at the Huis Marais residence, where the belongings of a student, Babalo Ndwayana, were urinated on by a fellow student, Theuns du Toit.

The university announced the suspension of Du Toit on Monday. He has been removed from the residence.

READ | Stellenbosch student says he will forgive suspended peer who urinated on his belongings

The rector and vice-chancellor of the university, Professor Wim de Villiers, said it was a deep sense of pain that Cameron's formal installation was being celebrated in a climate that reminds one of the "repugnant oppressive practices of a bygone era".

"As you no doubt know, there has been a most regrettable incident in one of our residences the past weekend. Rest assured that we have taken the appropriate action within the stipulations of our disciplinary code to deal with this matter decisively," he said.

De Villers said Cameron shared the vision of the university, which provided all students with a transformative teaching and learning experience.

"And, as the ceremonial head of the university, Justice Cameron has beyond any doubt lived up to all these values in ways that further inspire the pursuit of excellence in our academic project. But, more importantly, to utilise this national asset to provide access to equal opportunities for all who regard Stellenbosch University as their institution of choice to further and advance studies," he said.

Cameron - an academic, jurist and author - was elected to the office of chancellor of the university in September 2019. 

Adriaan Basson | Alleged racist urination video a wake-up call for Stellenbosch University

Shortly before his official installation as chancellor, he told News24 he was ashamed after news broke about what happened at Huis Marais. 

24/09/2019 Judge Edwin Cameron interview with Hanl
Edwin Cameron.

Cameron said: "We deserve a university that is free of the disrespect, hatred and degradation that were manifested in the ghastly incident in Huis Marais on Sunday, when a white student urinated on the study materials of a black student, Babalo Ndwayana. 

"All these things are what our national sense of dignity and self-worth entitles us to object against, to claim better... and I am honoured to be associated with all the ways in which Stellenbosch University embodies these."

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