News24

Race video: DA fingers FF+

2008-02-28 19:10

Pretoria - The Freedom Front Plus was leading the charge of racist elements that have exploited hostel integration at the University of the Free State for political purposes, the Democratic Alliance said on Thursday.

Those who seek to exploit racial tensions must shoulder blame for UFS abuse, the DA's Parliamentary Leader Sandra Botha said in a statement.

"Whilst the students involved must be held criminally liable, the point must be made that this incident did not happen in a vacuum," she said.

Botha said the SA Human Right Commission's investigation into the causes of the underlying racial tension at the campus should include an investigation into the FF Plus' culpability in the matter.

"It is clear that the Freedom Front Plus have mobilised white students to reject racial integration," she said.

'Hit first'

She gave an examples where FF+ members during a protest action against integration last year sang the song Bobbejaan klim die berg, questioning who they were they referring to.

"Freedom Front Plus posters on campus called on students to 'hit first' to prevent racial integration of hostels. And this is exactly what the four students who made this video have done," Botha said.

In reaction, the FF Plus spokesperson on youth affairs Willie Spies blamed the DA for trying to score cheap political points.

"What happened at Kovsies is so serious that political parties such as the DA should not use it to solve petty personal differences and score political points; it just worsens the situation and does not bring anyone closer to a solution," he said.

He pointed to the fact that the FF Plus rejected the action by the four students who abused the workers' dignity and said his party also rejected the DA's attempt to score points from the incident.

"It shows desperation by them to again take part in a political debate where they have lost the initiative," Spies said.