Dec 4, 2022

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Justice Sisi Khampepe to probe racism allegations at Stellenbosch University

The University of Stellenbosch has appointed retired judge Sisi Khampepe to conduct an independent inquiry into allegations of racism at the institution.

The university said on Friday that the commission had closed the inquiry by way of a Conducting proceedings will instill confidence in the investigation and allow for open participation on a broad basis.

Witnesses’ identities, personal information and evidence will be kept confidential.

Khampepe will make recommendations to the rector and Vice-Chancellor Wim de Villiers to help SU improve its culture of diversity, equity and inclusion regarding racism, which will protect and promote the dignity and self-esteem of all students and staff, the university said.

< p >She said the commission will investigate:

  • Incidents of racism at the university, referring to the recent incidents at the Huis M arais and in law dance of the Faculty of Law;
  • the state of diversity, equity and inclusion within th the university campus culture, with particular reference to racism;
  • given the zero tolerance attitude the university towards racism, whether the existing structures of the university and its policies, rules and processes are sufficient and effective to counteract the lived experience of students and teachers regarding racism in all its manifestations; and
  • related issues and concerns that may arise during the investigation, including the need for further investigation or consideration of related issues.

De Villiers said Khampepe had an excellent Professional reputation, invaluable experience and a person of impeccable integrity.

“SU has a zero-tolerance approach to racism, discrimination, prejudice and violence on campus,” he said.

” As previously communicated, we intend to reinforce existing and new comprehensive measures to address such violations, and to continuously improve these measures. SU leadership is sensitive to the well-being of the entire student and staff community and the impact of such incidents on our SU community.

The university said the commission could, at its discretion, obtain evidence from any person and in a manner determined by the commissioner for his mandate releva nt.

This may include the witnesses whose evidence is being presented, the invitation to written submissions from the campus community, the invitation to written submissions, and any other action he deems necessary.

The commission is expected to start in mid-June.

The report with its findings and recommendations will be presented to the Rector and Vice-Chancellor on a date agreed between the university and the commission.

Khampepe was established in 2009 appointed judge of the Constitutional Court. She retired in October 2021.

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