Stellenbosch University’s newly formed Equality Unit is investigating an incident at one of its female residences. A photograph taken at Heemstede Women's Residence this week shows two white students whose skin is covered in a dark pigment. Their hair is pulled back in ponytails and both appear smiling at the camera, while holding drinks.
According to the residence's official Facebook page, the photograph was taken at Heemstede Women's Residence on the evening of Thursday, 5 February. Some students have said the theme was aliens and that the two students were wearing purple paint for the occasion.
However, their appearance has been interpreted as an example of blackface. "We do not condone racism in any way," reads the residence's social media post, which announced cooperation with the university on an invesitgation. Meanwhile Stellenbosch University issued a statement on its website announcing swift action on the matter.