Stellenbosch reacts on social media to racial incident

Stellenbosch students took to social media to air their opinions on the racial incident that took place in Stellenbosch on Saturday night.

This comes after a video shared by Terence Makapan (24) went viral on the internet.

Makapan and three friends were on their way from a local water hole when he claims someone called him a “hotnot”. When Makapan confronted a group of men, from which the racial slur allegedly originated, he was punched in the face.

Terence Makapan (24) shows his bloodied nose after the alleged assault took place on Saturday night. PHOTO: Facebook

Terence Makapan (24) shows his bloodied nose after the alleged assault took place on Saturday night. PHOTO: Facebook

One of the friends accompanying Makapan, DuToit Albertze, was also punched when he tried to intervene. “Everything just happened so fast. You know, you always hear these stories but it’s hard to imagine that this could actually happen to you,” said Makapan.

Makapan was left with a bloody nose and cracked lips.

Makapan has received tremendous support from people all over South Africa. “I made the recording so that people can see that these people exist,” said Makapan. “I want people of colour to see that you don’t have to just accept this type of behaviour.”

“I have been receiving so many messages of support from friends, strangers and journalists,” he said. However, a number of people were not receptive to the video. “There is that 20% of people who are trying to attack my character,” he said.

Makapan’s friend and witness, Herschelle Benjamin, said that he knew one of the attackers. “I went to school with one of those guys, so I was shocked. I even tried to talk to him,” he said. “One of the guys even called one of our female friends, who wants to remain anonymous, a ‘meit’.”

Makapan went to Stellenbosch University campus security to report the incident. They were told to return later once they had sobered up. “Yes we were intoxicated, but we were more shocked at what had happened,” said Benjamin.

According to Makapan, campus security was “apathetic” and “lacked urgency” in their actions. “But, of course, what can they actually do?” said Makapan.

Police Spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana confirmed that a case of common assault had been opened. No arrests had been made at the time of writing.

University Spokesperson Martin Viljoen confirmed that the alleged assaulters were not from the university.

Viljoen added: “Stellenbosch University (SU) maintains a policy of zero tolerance with regard to the violation of human rights, victimisation in any form, racism, classism, sexism and all other forms of discrimination. The University will also not hesitate to act against anyone making themselves guilty in this regard.”

“It is thus with great concern that the University learnt of an alleged racist incident over the weekend in the town of Stellenbosch in which SU students and friends were allegedly subjected to racial slurs and being attacked. It is contrary to the values of our University and the culture of respect and human dignity that we would like to foster.”

Here are a few social media responses to the viral video. – Christina Pitt and Dylan Jack

Messages of support:

Some were sceptical of the version of the events portrayed in the video: