The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) on Tuesday set aside Rhodes University’s expulsion of Yolanda Dyantyi.
Dyantyi was permanently excluded from the university in 2017 after she was found guilty in a disciplinary hearing of kidnapping, assault, insubordination and defamation during the so-called #RhodesReferenceList anti-rape protests at the university in 2016.
Her 2017 disciplinary hearing followed a week of protests at the university, during which a list was compiled of Rhodes students claimed to have sexually assaulted women.
According to court papers, some of the men named on the list were hounded out of their university residences by groups of students led by, among others, Dyantyi. Some of the students were terrorised, assaulted, spat on, threatened with necklacing and held against their will.
The SCA ruled on Tuesday that the disciplinary process had been procedurally unfair after the proctor heading the process had denied her a postponement when her legal counsel had not been available to attend. The hearing had continued in her and her legal counsel’s absence.
Dyantyi announced her victory on social media.
“It brings me great pleasure to announce that I have won against Rhodes University. God is amazing.”
Rhodes University had not yet commented at the time of writing.
The court judgment has left it open to the university to start disciplinary proceedings afresh but specified it should be before a different proctor.
Yolanda Dyantyi was permanently excluded from Rhodes University in 2017 after she was found guilty in a disciplinary hearing of kidnapping, assault, insubordination and defamation. File photo.