Cops keep watch at UFS

2008-02-29 19:18

Bloemfontein - Police were still keeping watch on Friday on the Bloemfontein campus of the Free State University (UFS) where anger over a racist video sparked protests earlier in the week.

Police spokesperson Superintendent Annelie Wrench said police would maintain a presence on the campus for the time being.

The video, which caused a national outcry, features black university employees on their knees eating food which had apparently been urinated upon by white students.

It was filmed last year by students from the Reitz men's residence.

The film depicts a mock initiation of five black staff members into hostel activities and refers openly to the university's diversity policy for campus residences announced in 2007.

UFS spokesperson Lacea Loader confirmed that a delegation from the Department of Education was currently on campus and meeting with the university's management.

Earlier it was announced that Director-General, Duncan Hindle, would lead a delegation to the university.

Media representatives of the residence said on Friday the video was not made for propaganda purposes but for an internal cultural event.

Residence head Pieter Odendaal said the video should be seen in context with other videos that were also made for the cultural event.

He said at the time the workers that participated in the video were not forced to take part.

Odendaal agreed that some aspects of the controversial video "cannot be made good".

Resident head Christo Dippenaar said the reaction to the video was out of "context".

"I think a lot of political parties want to get mileage out of this," said Dippenaar.

He refused to answer specific questions about the video indicating it was now part of an official investigation.