Racist incident in Stellenbosch akin to urinating on the Constitution: Lamola

Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola has reiterated the country's Constitution is a social contract binding citizens to create an inclusive South Africa.

FILE: Justice Minister Ronald Lamola at an inter-ministerial briefing on the coronavirus in Pretoria on 13 March 2020. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - With the focus of an incident of racism at Stellenbosch University, Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola has reiterated the country's Constitution is a social contract binding citizens to create an inclusive South Africa.

Lamola made the remarks while delivering the keynote address at the first day of the National Conference to Commemorate the 20th anniversary of the third World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.

READ: Stellenbosch Uni students amplify calls for racism on campus to be abolished

“The incident in Stellenbosch is one too many in recent months. It is akin to urinating to the Constitution itself because it is done in the year we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Constitution.”

The minister said he was glad Babalo Ndwayana, the victim in the Stellenbosch University incident, filed a criminal complaint against the alleged perpetrator Theuns du Toit.

READ: Stellenbosch University campus management urged to speed pace of transformation

“We have to appeal to white parents to teach love and diversity in their families. There is no need a 21-year-old can be accused of racism in this day and age.”

BEARING THE BRUNT

Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa said although racism can be directed against anyone, black people continue to bear the brunt.

READ: CYRIL RAMAPHOSA: Black people continue to bear the brunt of racism

In his weekly newsletter, Ramaphosa spoke about the racist incident as troubling.

Ramaphosa said the incident was indicative that racism was still part of the daily South African experience.

"We need to understand what is causing racist attitudes to flourish in our schools and places of higher learning," Ramaphosa said.

READ: Ramaphosa urges leaders to bring culture of servant leadership into politics

"We need to understand what kind of institutional cultures contribute to racism in the workplace, in social organisations and in communities."

Ramaphosa quoted a fourth-year student, Kwenzokuhle Khumalo, who told one of the protests last week that: "You’ve met the wrong generation this time."

The university has opened disciplinary proceedings amid calls for the student's expulsion for what it condemned as a "destructive, hurtful and racist incident".