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“A f**king ka**ir stole my phone”: Racist students expelled from University of Pretoria for two years

Bonile Khanyi

The two University of Pretoria (UP) students who were seen saying “A f**king ka**ir stole my phone” on camera, have been expelled from the university for two years.

The students, Bodene Benade and Catherine Reynders, both in their final year of university, were suspended at the end of October when Benade accidentally shared a video of the two repeatedly using the racial slur: ka**ir. 

In a statement to Inside EducationUP spokesperson, Jocelyn Newmarch said the students were expelled after an investigation. 

“They will need to re-apply if at any point they wish to study at UP in the future. Admission is not a given but will depend on the academic criteria laid down by the relevant faculty at the time,” said Newmarch.

Newmarch also said as both students were in their final year, they would not be allowed to attend their graduation ceremonies or to enrol for their honours degrees or the equivalents in 2018. Inside Education has requested clarity on whether the students will receive their degree certificates.

“The University will not provide them with a Certificate of Good Conduct during the time of their suspension if they wish to transfer to another university. Whether they will be entitled to such a certificate beyond this time period will be determined by the University should they submit an application,” said Newmarch.

For the physiotherapy student Benade, however, an honours would not be the next step in her career. She needs to get a recommendation from the university that will allow her to enrol for community service work with the Department of Health.

While the university said it will not give the students their certificates of good conduct, it is unclear whether Benade will get her recommendation from the university. Follow-up questions requesting clarity on the matter were unanswered at the time of publication and this story will be updated if Inside Education receives a response.

Newmarch said if the students wished to be re-admitted, they would have to re-apply to the university after a year, and the second year of expulsion would be suspended for the duration of their studies on condition of good behaviour.

“If the students in future act in any manner that can be construed as racist or acting in a manner that brings the University into disrepute, the University can execute the suspended part of the disciplinary sanction.”

In the short video that went viral on social media, one of the students shouted: “a f*****g k****r stole my phone” into the camera and then the second added: “did you hear that? A f*****g k****r stole her phone”.

At the time of the video going viral, the university condemned the actions of the students.

It also caused massive outrage on social media with students calling on the university’s management to take immediate action.

Reynders lost her bursary from the Ramaphosa Trust in October.

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