Marie Mjacu & Dillon Henwood
Huis Visser, a men’s residence at Stellenbosch University (SU), hosted an event for their “old boys,” former members of the residence, on 4 May which took a turn when these former residents started singing Die Stem. The event was ended when this happened and no witnesses have since come forward to confirm whether current SU students participated in the singing of the highly contentious former national anthem.
Huis Visser addressed the incident on their Facebook page stating that they “denounce this action.” They said they called an emergency house meeting so as to address the issue with its residents. The post elaborated that Huis Visser values “respect, care, recognition and unity through individuality” and that they are against anything that contradicts such values.
“As a house, we denounce these actions due to the association of Die Stem with a period that caused harm to our alumni, current residents and the broader University community,” read the statement.
According to their Facebook page, as a result of the incident, former residents have henceforth been banned from all Huis Visser’s forthcoming events. The SRC released an official statement on the matter which verified the reports that “the old boys of Huis Visser have been banned from [social events] at the Club, until the conditions for the lifting of the ban have been discussed”.
The SRC also told Die Matie that “the matter has been reported to the Equality Unit for further investigation”. As per the SRC’s statement, a discussion has been scheduled within the residence to “ensure that the alumni are able to return to and visit the residence, but that this is done in a responsible manner to ensure healthy relationships between alumni and residents”.
At the time of going to print neither the prim of Huis Visser, nor the University had responded to Die Matie’s requests for comment.
Photo: Sindiso Dube