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Higher Education News South Africa

Stellenbosch University set to close controversial Wilgenhof Residence

Stellenbosch University's rectorate has accepted a recommendation of a panel that the Wilgenhof Residence should be closed. The residence made the news for alleged rituals that took place in its vicinity.
Stellenbosh University campus | Source:  | Foto deur Erhadt Thiel
Stellenbosh University campus | Source: Stellenbosch University | Foto deur Erhadt Thiel

The rectorate also recommended to the panel that alternative uses be considered for the buildings. The panel was appointed by the university's rectorate following the discovery of disturbing contents found in two rooms of the Wilgenhof Residence, said Stellenbosch University (SU).

The panel, chaired by an experienced advocate from the Cape Bar, assisted by a former experienced university executive in higher education, and the Deputy Registrar for Governance, Ethics and Compliance at SU, was tasked to investigate the contents found during an audit of the spaces and amenities of the Residence and to report to the rectorate on its findings and recommendations.

"The discovery of the contents and appointment of the panel follow SU’s consistent affirmation of its position on ensuring the dignity of all our students and staff, and a commitment to eradicate unacceptable practices from our campuses and SU student accommodation," said SU.

Professor Wim de Villiers commented: "As the Rector of this premier African research-intensive higher education institution, I want to assure all our staff, students, and parents that we will remain unwavering in our commitment to being a welcoming and inclusive centre of excellence.

"Given the body of evidence presented by our expert panel, we have accepted its main recommendation that closure of the Wilgenhof residence is the appropriate action going forward."

De Villiers concluded: "This recommendation, on the recommendation of the Panel, if accepted by council, will result in the closure of Wilgenhof at the end of the 2024 academic year. Alternative uses of the space will be discussed with a view to be effected during 2025."

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