NEWS
29/01/2018 14:02 SAST | Updated 29/01/2018 14:02 SAST

Wits Lecturer Suspended For Alleged Racist Slurs

"The University of the Witwatersrand has with immediate effect suspended a lecturer who allegedly made derogatory racial remarks."

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Wits University has suspended a lecturer for alleged racist slurs.

"The University of the Witwatersrand has with immediate effect suspended a lecturer who allegedly made derogatory racial remarks," the institution said in a statement on Monday.

Wits also said that the lecturer would be banned from all campuses.

"The lecturer will not be allowed onto the university's campuses [while] the matter is being dealt with by the university's Transformation and Employee Relations Offices, in line with the university's rules, policies and procedures."

The name of Dieter Hartmann, an engineering lecturer at Wits, is visible in an email allegedly sent from his official university address, in which he appears to call protesting students and workers "monkeys".

In the email, the lecturer appears to have written: "Oh no. They are singing outside my window now. Urgh. Monkeys. Biggest. Jungle. Connect the dots."

Wits vowed swift action: "The university has a zero tolerance approach towards any form of prejudice and will ensure that the matter is dealt with expeditiously."

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A subsequent email allegedly shows Hartmann apologising for his comments.

He says he did not mean to "hurt or harm" others, adding he is known for being a joker who can sometimes be "out there and close to the line".

He conceded that the matter wasn't funny, and that he crossed the line.

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