Stellenbosch University postpones exams by a week

  • Stellenbosch University has postponed first semester exams by a week. 
  • They were supposed to start on Monday, but will now be from 30 May. 
  • The university said the postponement was made after taking into account the "mental health and emotional state" of students. 

Stellenbosch University says exams have been postponed by a week following an alleged racist incident and rape on campus.  

On Friday, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching Deresh Ramjugernath said students would no longer sit for their first semester exams on Monday. Instead, these will now start on 30 May.  

Recess will start on 4 July. Ramjugernath said this would not have an impact on the start of the second semester on 18 July.  

He said the deadline for assessments, which had been for this week, would also be extended by one week. He said arrangements for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Science would be announced soon.

Ramjugernath said the university had taken into account the "mental health and emotional state of our students" after an alleged racist incident and rape on campus this week.

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

Students have been protesting for most of the week following allegations that Theunis du Toit urinated on fellow student Babalo Ndwayana's belongings.  

The outcome of a disciplinary hearing is outstanding, but students have been protesting, calling for his expulsion from the university.  

In another incident, a student is accused of raping another student at a residence in Victoria Street, Stellenbosch. He appeared in court and was released on R1 000 bail.

The university said it would suspend the alleged perpetrator from his residence pending further internal and criminal investigations.

The university acknowledged that students might not be feeling safe following the week's incidents. 

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

Professor Stan du Plessis, the university's chief operating officer, said: "The safety of students and staff remains a primary concern of the university’s management. In this regard, the university has invested substantially in safety and security measures over the last few years. Safety and security arrangements are also reviewed continuously, while awareness campaigns are conducted on a regular basis. 

"Campus safety – and in that regard, safety in general in South Africa – is also everyone’s responsibility. Students, staff and the public are reminded to be vigilant in all circumstances as they are active partners in campus safety."

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