'Black face' Stellenbosch students apologise

Two students landed themselves in hot water after painting themselves black.

Stellenbosch students in 'black face' as Venus and Serena Williams. Picture: Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Stellenbosch students involved in a 'black face' controversy have apologised. The two students attended a party recently as Venus and Serena Williams, landing them in trouble

In their apology the two students say they never intended to cause any harm. It reads; "To make us more recognisable characters, we painted our entire bodies. This was not intended to represent racial stereotype but rather to directly depict and represent the Williams sisters."

It may have been funny to them but this sparked an avalanche of criticism on social media and calls were made to deal with this issue. The university is investigating the matter.

Stellenbosch University's Martin Viljoen on Wednesday said it would be premature to jump to conclusions or to anticipate the actions that needed to be taken.

He said university management had to consider the appropriate steps that needed to be taken.

Meanwhile, the University of Cape Town (UCT) says young people should be made aware of the sensitivities around so-called 'black face' scandals.

UCT's Jay Pather says naivety is often to blame in such sagas.

"If there is anything that this points to, is the remarkable naivety and the lack of education around this. And that is probably more reflective of the really paltry education system."

Last month, several members of the public reacted with outrage and anger to pictures of two University of Pretoria students dressed up as black domestic workers.

The two young women were charged with bringing the university's name into disrepute after the pictures were posted on Facebook.

The students attended a private party with their faces painted brown, material stuffed into their pants to make their behinds look bigger and headscarves on their heads.