Reitz 4 seek postponement

2010-07-23 12:23

Bloemfontein - The four former Free State University (UFS) students referred to as the Reitz four, have asked the Human Rights Commission for further particulars in their Bloemfontein Equality Court case.

In papers filed with the court, the four's lawyer Christo Dippenaar indicated that the papers filed against them were inadequate as various attachments referred to had not been included.

The Human Rights Commission's office in Bloemfontein, on behalf of four UFS cleaners and a gardener, filed for punitive damages of R1m each against the four former students and the university.

The four students - RC Malherbe, Johnny Roberts, Schalk van der Merwe and Danie Grobler - made a video of an initiation-type ceremony in 2007 while living at the university's now-closed Reitz men's residence. The video was leaked to the media in February 2008.

In it the four women cleaners and a man are seen on their hands and knees eating food which had apparently been urinated into by a white student. It also showed the women drinking from bottles of beer, racing against each other, dancing and playing rugby.


Dippenaar said the attachments they had asked for were needed to reply to the affidavits filed at the Equality Court. The documents referred to included medical records, hospital records, X-rays, notes by a general practitioner and psychological reports.

The Reitz four also want the video that was supposed to be attached and another medical doctor's report.

Dippenaar further asked for a 10-day postponement of the date they had to reply to the Equality Court by, after receiving the outstanding documents.

In an earlier statement the commission said the students should also be declared guilty of unfair discrimination, by making and distributing the video.

The four also faced charges of crimen injuria in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court. The matter was postponed to July 27 for trial.