Two white South African students are claiming they actually dressed up in 'purpleface' and not 'blackface'

Two white South African students have been suspended after dressing up in what they claim was 'purple face' for a fancy dress party.

Unverified pictures of the two undergraduates at Stellenbosch University with their faces covered in dark paint have appeared in South African media.

One of the students suspended in the incident, Poekie Briedenhann, has since said that the face paint was purple, and the pair were supposed to be aliens at a galactic themed party:

We are aware that our actions in the #blackfacing incident last night at the Heemstede stellar-space party where painting our bodies dark purple and cover[ed] with glitter appeared as black and thus as attempt to demean and exotify blackness.

We apologise for any offence occurred and take full responsibility for this.

The university has said in a statement it is investigating what happened and workshops and discussions had been held on campus to "create awareness and understanding" of racially charged issues since a report was made last week.

Stellenbosch University condemns all forms of racism and discrimination and acknowledges the severe negative impact of the pain and trauma experienced by students, staff and members of the public.

The Associated Press reports that Stellenbosch had to suspend two white students who blacked up as Venus and Serena Williams for a party as recently as 2014.

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