Reaction to reports on the ministerial investigation with reference to the drowning of Thabang Makhoang at the North-West University’s Potchefstroom Campus

Reaction to reports on the ministerial investigation with reference to the drowning of Thabang Makhoang at the North-West University’s Potchefstroom Campus

Institutional Office - The NWU again emphasises that any form of initiation or initiation practices at any of its three campuses are strictly forbidden. This policy is emphatically stressed and is known to all students and staff.

It is the aim of the NWU that the activities of all students must adhere to the terms, values and policies of the university.

Should malpractices occur, the university has firm procedures in place to address them and to act accordingly.

The NWU welcomes the decision of the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande, that a formal investigation is launched after the tragic drowning of a first-year student at the Potchefstroom Campus. As is the case with the ongoing police investigation, the NWU will do everything in its power to support the ministerial investigation. Detailed outcomes and recommendations of this investigation are welcomed so that such a tragic accident can never happen again.

The Vice-Chancellor of the NWU, Dr Theuns Eloff, says the NWU regrets the fact that the Minister released a media statement without informing the NWU beforehand of his planned investigation.

“Although the NWU welcomes such an investigation as well as the outcomes thereof, the future actions taken by management will still be done in the interest of its students.”

The NWU stresses the fact that the drowning occurred during a social event and not as part of an initiation practice.

The NWU is an educational institution that endeavours to develop accountability in students, to cultivate good values and to equip them with ethical values, knowledge and skills in order to build a better South Africa.

Enquiries:    Louis Jacobs, Director Corporate Communication, Institutional Office
                       North-West University
                       (018) 299 4918 / 082 901 6435

Date:            3 February 2012