News24

Reitz trial to start in July

2010-02-24 14:17

Bloemfontein - The Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court on Wednesday postponed the crimen injuria case of four former University of the Free State (UFS) students to July for trial.

The four students RC Malherbe, Johnny Roberts, Schalk van der Merwe and Danie Grobler are facing charges for humiliating five workers at the university.

The students made a video of an initiation-type ceremony in 2007 while living at the university's now closed Reitz men's residence.

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.

The students also express opposition to the university's integration policy in the video.

The video surfaced in 2008 and caused an international outcry landing the UFS in a racial storm.

Representations failed

During the short court session the State informed the court that representations made by the accused to the provincial office of the Public Prosecutor in Bloemfontein failed. It gave no reasons.

This was confirmed by the students' lawyer Christo Dippenaar.

The matter was postponed to July 27 for a trial which is expected to take three days.

In contrast to protests during previous court appearances by the students, Wednesday's appearance went quietly without any protesters.

The workers and Grobler, one of the students, were not in court on Wednesday.