News24

2 of Reitz 4 stay away from UFS

2010-01-25 22:04

Bloemfontein - Two of the former "Reitz Four", who could have continued with their studies at the University of the Free State this year, have not registered or started attending classes, their lawyer Christo Dippenaar said on Monday.

Classes at the UFS started on Monday.

In 2009, new rector Jonathan Jansen indicated that the students, who created a furore by making a racially offensive video, could resume their studies if they wanted to.

Jansen's announcement caused an uproar and the UFS decided to continue on a new process of consultations.

Consultations process

Dippenaar said the students felt the university's process of consultations on the issue should be finished before they registered.

"They are nevertheless eager to go back at the appropriate time."

Earlier it was reported that a process of restorative justice, which could mean that the prosecution of the four students on charges of crimen injuria could be dropped, has started.

A committee of three, under the chairmanship of the head probation officer of social development in Bloemfontein, Riaan du Plessis, has been elected to try and resolve the matter by way of alternative dispute resolution.

The four former students - RC Malherbe, Johnny Roberts, Schalk van der Merwe and Danie Grobler - of the now closed Reitz men's residence, are accused of humiliating five black staff members in an initiation-type ceremony in 2007, which they filmed.

The dates on which the Reitz Four and the five workers would get together for the process would be February 11 and 12.

Forgiveness

The two groups would get information sessions and time to prepare for the meeting two days beforehand.

Du Plessis would then compile a report and the two parties would decide if they agreed with it.

The process entails asking for forgiveness, receiving forgiveness and restorative compensation.

Du Plessis would report back to the court before or on February 24 when the four students have to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court again.

UFS spokesperson Lacea Loader also confirmed that the two of the four students had not registered at the university for 2010.