Reitz 4 sentence 'appropriate'

2010-07-30 21:26

Johannesburg - The guilty verdict and sentencing of four former Free State University students, known as the Reitz Four, on crimen injuria charges were welcomed, by the ANC on Friday.

"The decision to sentence these four, for a fine of R20 000 each or 12 months imprisonment is appropriate and befitting the crime they committed," said party spokeperson Jackson Mthembu.

"This sentencing will also serve as a deterrent to any individual who seeks to undermine and humiliate fellow citizens on the basis of their gender, ethnicity, religion and social standing in the society," he said.

The four men, RC Malherbe, Johnny Roberts, Schalk van der Merwe and Danie Grobler were sentenced to 12 months in prison or a fine of R20 000 each on Friday in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court.

The charges related to their humiliation of five black workers in an initiation-type of ceremony they conducted and filmed while living at the University of the Free State's now-closed Reitz men's residence in 2007.

They pleaded guilty to the charges on Monday.

Mthembu said the leading party also welcomed the fact that they showed remorse by pleading guilty.

"The ANC stands against any individual or any group whose intention is to undermine national unity and cohesion of the South African population, including undermining the democratic gains achieved since the 1994," Mthembu said.