Khampepe to lead inquiry into racism claims at Stellenbosch University

The university said that Khampepe would make recommendations to the rector to assist the institution in improving its culture of diversity and inclusion which would safeguard and promote the dignity and self-worth of all students and staff.

Stellenbosch University students demonstrating outside the campus’ Admin B building on 16 May 2022. This followed an incident the day before where a white student urinated on a black students belongings. Picture: Kevin Brandt/Eyewitness News.

CAPE TOWN - Stellenbosch University said that it's expected that an independent commission of inquiry into allegations of racism at the institution will commence in the middle of this month.

Retired Constitutional Court Justice Sisi Khampepe has been appointed to lead the commission.

Last month, first-year law student, Theuns du Toit, was suspended after a video on social media showed him urinating on the study desk of Agricultural Business Management student, Babalo Ndwayana.

The incident unleashed an outcry from fellow students calling for an end to racism and harassment at the university.

The university said that Khampepe would make recommendations to the rector to assist the institution in improving its culture of diversity and inclusion which would safeguard and promote the dignity and self-worth of all students and staff.

The university said that the inquiry would be conducted by means of closed proceedings to provide confidence in the process and to enable candid participation on a broad basis.

The identity, other personal information and evidence of witnesses are to be kept confidential.

The university said that the commission may, at its own discretion, receive any evidence that was relevant to its mandate from any person and in a manner determined by the commissioner.

The report, with its findings and recommendations, will be submitted to the rector and vice-chancellor by a date agreed upon between the university and the commission.