Judgment reserved in Reitz Four appeal

2011-06-13 22:46

kalahari.com

Bloemfontein - Judgment was reserved by the Free State  High Court on Monday in an appeal hearing by the four former University of the Free State students who humiliated five of its black workers.

The former students, known as the Reitz Four want the High Court to reduce their sentence, legal counsel Kemp J Kemp told the court.

The four humiliated five black workers in an initiation-type ceremony in 2007, which they filmed while living at the university's now-closed Reitz men's residence.

RC Malherbe, Johnny Roberts, Schalk van der Merwe and Danie Grobler pleaded guilty to a charge of crimen injuria in July 2010 and were each fined R20 000 or a year in jail.

They were also sentenced to a further six months’ imprisonment, wholly suspended for five years on certain conditions.

These conditions included that they not be convicted of crimen injuria or crimen defamation during the period of suspension, and that the Equality Court not find that they had unfairly discriminated against anyone else on the grounds of race.

Kemp submitted that, in sentencing them, the lower court focused on aspects outside their guilty plea.

He argued that they pleaded guilty to the crimen injuria in the "picture" created by the video and not what had "happened" on the day of the filming.

"The [lower] court did not take the subtle difference into consideration," he contended.

He said the court was not entitled to look beyond the plea of guilty in considering sentence.

'Sentence balanced, humane'

The former students want the High Court to drop the six months’ suspended sentence and reduce the fine to between R5 000 and R10 000 to bring the sentence in line with comparable cases.

Legal counsel for the State Johan Kruger told the court it should be considered that the video recording formed part of the guilty plea.

He said considering the offence and all the relevant circumstances, there was no misdirection on the part of the trial court on the first part of the sentence of a fine and imprisonment on defaulting.

He submitted that, if the court found against the State, the fines should not be reduced to below R15 000 each.

Kruger also submitted that the suspension of a six month imprisonment sentence was according to law and could not be argued as misdirection.

Opposing the appeal, the State argued that the sentence imposed was balanced and humane and was blended with the right amount of mercy.

The appeal was heard by Judge MH Rampai and Judge MB Molemela.

Judgment was reserved.

Earlier this year, about 300 guests watched when the four students publicly expressed "deep regret" for their conduct and the harm it caused the workers, the university and the broader community.

At the reconciliation ceremony, the former students said they had failed the workers and now knew that their conduct had hurt them.

"With true remorse and humility, we ask you to forgive us," Danie Grobler said on their behalf.

The workers accepted the apology.

It followed an out of court agreement in separate matters in the Equality Court between the workers and "the boys", as the former students were referred to at the time, and the university.

- SAPA

Read more on:    ufs  |  bloemfontein  |  reitz
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
62 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

'Zuma's legacy will be judged by Nkandla'

The legacy of President Jacob Zuma is contingent on how he deals with the issue of upgrades to his Nkandla homestead, says Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia N9

The Nokia N9 has a beautiful one-piece, unibody design where...

From R2899.85

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.