No, it’s not just a bit of harmless, drunken dormitory fun.
Don’t say “big deal, we all caught on [email protected] when we were laaities”.
Call it what it is: racism.
But don’t take my word for it.
By now you’ve all seen the video, you’ve heard it from the horse’s mouth.
When Theuns du Toit urinated all over Babalo Ndwayana’s desk in the Huis Marais residence in the early hours of Sunday morning, he slurred “it’s a white thing, boy”.
What did he mean by that?
Is this how his circle of white people behaves?
Is this his general view of how white people treat (or should treat) black people?
Is this a white student “thing”at Stellenbosch University – the institutional racism that people have been talking about?
And do white South Africans still call black men “boy” in this day and age?
Apparently Theuns was lekker dronk when he staggered into Babalo’s dorm room – the truth serum had kicked in and his true colours were showing.
Had Babalo kept on recording and questioning Theuns, perhaps we could have learnt more about this “white thing”.
Fast forward and Theuns was named and shamed on social media, his family disgraced and academic future put in jeopardy.
So this the racism we will be sending our kids to— Xhosa is 🔥 🇿![CDATA]>🇦™® (@TakaTina1) May 15, 2022
It is said White kids at Stellenbosch University can just come pee in your room anytime because you're black pic.twitter.com/jZhddRjnKU
He apologised for his behaviour at a residence meeting, admitting “I know what I did was wrong, I’m sorry guys.”
He was suspended by the university amid protests by thousands of students calling for his expulsion.
Babalo, a first-year agriculture student, initially said he would have been prepared to forgive Theuns had he approached him in person. That didn’t happen.
Babalo’s dad was less accommodating and went ahead and laid charges of housebreaking, malicious damage to property and crimen injuria with the police.
The SA Human Rights Commission is investigating the alleged violation of the Eastern Cape student’s rights.
SU vice-chancellor, Professor Wim de Villiers, said an investigation headed by the Equality Unit was also under way and he warned of a possible expulsion.
“SU strongly condemns any destructive or discriminatory behaviour that infringes the rights of any student or member of the community of the university. Human dignity is non-negotiable and must be respected, upheld and restored when affected,” he said.
Strong words by the VC, indeed, but again no acknowledgement of the elephant in the room: the R-word.
The EFF also called for expulsion, while the ANC in the Western Cape offered to replace Babalo’s damaged laptop.
Sweet. But wait a minute. The issue here isn’t a paar druppeltjies pis on a computer. It’s more serious than that.
Mind you, if anyone should be repairing damage, it’s Theuns.
What he really ought to do is go back to Babalo’s dorm room – at a decent hour this time – with a brand-new laptop and books and apologise for his racist behaviour. In person. Finish en klaar.
After that, we need to take a sober look at the bigger picture.
Racial tension has been simmering in the Cape for some time and is in danger of reaching boiling point if we ignore it.
While black people continue to suffer discrimination, the likes of Julius Malema and Minister Nathi Mthethwa have been stirring the pot in the Boland.
The EFF marched to Johann Rupert’s HQ in Stellenbosch recently to demand land, while the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture is calling for the name of the Afrikaans Language Monument in Paarl to be changed.
Last weekend, Operation Dudula launched in the province and they have declared war on foreigners – the law-abiding ones who are “taking locals’ jobs” as well as the illegals.
It feels like open season for racism and we dare not hesitate to speak out, for fear of “sowing divisions”.
We need to call it out. Don’t be shy to play the race card.
Condemn it at all times – as a society, in our communities, in our homes, in our schools and universities.
If we remain silent, turn a blind eye and condone it, we run the risk of turning into Trump’s America.
And did he make America great again? No, he made racism popular again.
A place where it’s OK to build a wall to keep the Mexicans out.
A country that refuses to condemn right-wing gun massacres, but is quick to brand Muslim terrorists.
A presidency that dubbed Covid-19 the “China Virus” and called Africa a “sh!thole”.