SAHRC goes to court over Reitz

2010-07-03 07:21

Johannesburg - The case for redress for the four University of Free State workers shown in a video made by students will be heard on July 27 in the Bloemfontein Equality Court, the SA Human Rights Commission said on Friday.

"The SAHRC has lodged papers with the Bloemfontein Equality Court to seek redress on behalf of the four black female UFS workers who were grossly humiliated when four white male students recorded and disseminated an insulting and indignifying (sic) video on them," the commission said in a statement.

The commission asked the court to order that the students be declared guilty of unfair discrimination by act and omission by making the video and distributing it.

The commission also asked that the students apologise to the women, to all black women and to black people in general. The apology should be "unqualified and generous".

The commission further asked for an order that the students be made to pay jointly general and punitive damages of R1m to each of the women.

The commission asked for an order to the university to present a comprehensive plan to the court, outlining remedial measures to be put in place to support and afford redress to the women, and to prevent such an incident occurring again.

The commission also asked for remedial measures to eradicate the culture of racial and gender intolerance at the university and the Reitz hostel in particular.

It asked that, if any of the students were re-admitted to the university, that they be sent for diversity and racial integration training.

The video was leaked to the media in February 2008. It showed the women drinking from bottles of beer, racing against each other, eating from a dish, vomiting into buckets, dancing and playing rugby.

It also showed one of the four students apparently urinating into a dish that appears to contain food.
Reitz hostel was closed after the video was made public.