There have been calls in South Africa – on social media and in the political arena – for swift action over the video of a student urinating over the belongings of another student at Stellenbosch University in the Western Cape. Most are calling for the perpetrator’s expulsion, and a petition on Change.org has already gathered over 47,000 signatures.
So far, the student has been suspended while an investigation is underway.
The DA said it welcomes the formal investigation launched by Stellenbosch University management into the incident at a student residence over the weekend (early Sunday morning at around 4am), when a first-year student urinated on the laptop, desk and books of a fellow first-year student.
The incident, captured on video by the victim, – who has come forward publicly – is “humiliating, hurtful and infringed upon the constitutionally-enshrined right to dignity of the victim”, said the DA.
The video was apparently filmed by the victim, Babalo Ndwayana. There are reports on Tuesday afternoon that Ndwayana is set to open a criminal case, although News24 earlier reported him saying: “my father said I must lay criminal charges, but I said to him it’s already enough now. He’s also someone’s child…”
Ndwayana has been named in the press since he came forward and spoke to the press. The perpetrator has not yet been publicly named, despite calls for his naming and shaming, and the plastering of his name and photo all over social media and on the Change petition. He has not yet publicly spoken.
Ndwayana’s father said his initial reaction when he heard about the incident was “utter disgust and powerlessness” since he lives in the Eastern Cape far from the Western Cape campus. He said when things like this happen “you want to be by your child’s side immediately.”
Ndwayana’s dad said: “I appreciate all the attention that this incident has garnered. Hopefully we will shed light and poke the institution to deal with these incidents decisively from now moving forwards.”
Dr Leon Schreiber – DA Constituency Head: Stellenbosch – said: “We urge that the matter be handled with the requisite speed, diligence and seriousness demanded by the situation. We also encourage the university authorities to provide all necessary support to Mr Ndwayana to minimise the impact of this on his studies. He did not ask for this to happen, and he should not suffer adverse consequences.
“As a member of Stellenbosch University council, I have already written to the registrar to request that this matter be urgently placed on the agenda for the upcoming council meeting, so that management can account for all remedial steps taken.”
One third-year student told eNCA it has been “madness” for students in the past 24 hours. The student said that most students – black and white – are standing together, and that the perpetrator’s suspension is not enough. He, along with many others across the country, called for the student’s expulsion from the university.
The suspension of a #StellenboschUniversity student involved in an alleged racist incident is being seen by many as a light punishment. Many are calling for his expulsion. #eNCA's @RONALDMASINDA has more details. #DStv403 pic.twitter.com/xWCYr6HJsS
— eNCA (@eNCA) May 17, 2022
It’s not that hard Stellenbosch University.
And other universities should not enrol him for the foreseeable future. #StellenboschUniversity
— Cindy Poluta (@CindyPoluta) May 17, 2022
I like that Babalwa's neighbor at res told him not to beat up that racist Theuns Du Toit cos then the focus would be on that and not fact that that racist peed on his stuff #StellenboschUniversity #Stellenbosch
— I Stand With South Africa ???? (@Kea91492014) May 17, 2022
The problem starts when everything goes under ‘investigation’ where there is no need. There is a video, that racist Theuns Du Toit acknowledged his actions. Theuns Du Toit should be expelled & criminally charged for his actions- Nothing to investigate here #StellenboschUniversity
— Man’s NOT Barry Roux (@AdvoBarryRoux) May 17, 2022
Pissing on anyone's belongings is barbaric, doesn't matter what color you are. This kid needs to be expelled. #StellenboschUniversity
— GiggleTwig (@SpaceTwig) May 16, 2022