Calls grow for white student's expulsion from Stellenbosch University amid allegedly racist incident

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  • Thousands of people have signed a petition calling for the expulsion of a Stellenbosch University student.
  • The student urinated on the belongings of black student.
  • He has since been suspended, pending an investigation by the university.

A petition calling for the expulsion of a white Stellenbosch University student who is at the centre of an allegedly racist incident that occurred at a student residence over the weekend, garnered more than 27 000 signatures at the time of publication.

Stellenbosch University announced Theuns du Toit's suspension on Monday. He has been removed from the residence.

In a statement, the university said: 

A further swift but detailed investigation will determine the final outcomes. Expulsion and/or criminal charges are not excluded from the possible available options, based on the investigation's findings.

Vice-chancellor Professor Wim de Villiers added that such conduct would not be tolerated at the university.

"We acted swiftly and decisively to uphold our commitment to a culture inclusivity. What happened at Huis Marais is not acceptable. No student has the right to diminish another student's human dignity or rights in this way," he adds.

But other students at the university insist that Du Toit should be expelled.

READ | Stellenbosch University student says he will forgive suspended fellow Matie who urinated on his belongings

The online petition states: "This was a racially motivated attack, and in response to his actions, [the white student] claimed 'this is what we do to black boys.'"

"This action is a blatant violation of the victim's human rights, as is protected by the Constitution of South Africa. [The white student] has been suspended from the university, but this is not justified consequence for his actions. He has violated another student's human dignity and needs to be removed from the university.

On Monday, students gathered outside the residence, demanding answers and severe repercussions for Du Toit.

Babalo Ndwayana was asleep in his room on Sunday morning when Du Toit entered his room and urinated on his desk, books and laptops.

A video that was shared widely on social media, showed the white student urinating on a desk. The person who is filming asks him why he is "peeing in [his] room". The man mumbles that he is "waiting for someone".

According to Ndwayana, when the recording stopped, the student told him that "it’s a white boy thing” which he interpreted to mean “this is what they [white boys] do to black boys”. Du Toit then left the room.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify what Ndwayana understood by what he heard after the recording stopped.

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