Race video 'just play-acting'

2008-02-27 23:02

Bloemfontein - The controversial video that hit the campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) this week like a racist bombshell was "no more than play-acting", according to a lawyer's letter delivered to the rector's office on Wednesday afternoon.

The surfacing of the video led to a protest march and police action on Wednesday.

Two students of the Reitz men's hostel, who have been suspended from campus pending possible disciplinary action, deny in the letter that they committed any actions that make them criminally liable.

Nico Naudé of Honey attorneys said in the letter that if the students were to be prosecuted, they would consider countering with charges of wilful prosecution.

In the lawyer's letter, RC Malherbe and Schalk van der Merwe denied they were guilty of either criminal actions or deeds.

Should any scene or scenes create such an impression, said Naudé, he wished to make it clear that the video was mere play-acting.

Wants list of allegations

In the letter, addressed to the executive council of the university and its dean of student affairs, he also informed UFS that he and the rest of the students' legal team, including a senior advocate, also wished to be present at any disciplinary hearing or any other action planned against the two.

He also asked that a list of allegations against the students be provided to him as soon as possible.

The students indicated earlier that they wanted legal representation at a disciplinary hearing, but apparently this was refused by the university.

The two hostel students, both in their final year, have been barred from the campus and consequently forfeit their student fees and the opportunity to study, because they are not allowed to attend classes.

The two students and two former ones at the hostel can easily be recognised on the video in which one male and four female staff are "initiated" into the residence.

The staffers are seen drinking with the students, among other things.

Volksblad newspaper heard that the video, which was an attempt to produce a Leon Schuster-type movie, had been made in September last year. It was apparently intended for a "cultural evening" at the hostel.

A political football

At the time, the UFS integration policy featured prominently in the media.

Former UFS students told the newspaper it appeared that the video had become a political football.

Others felt it strange that the video should surface at this stage, almost as if it was intended to distract attention from the R3m damage caused last week at the campus by students.

  • M Terblanche - 2008-02-27 23:52

    please don't think all white people are like these students!!!!

  • Mark, Australia - 2008-02-28 01:03

    How could any serious thinking person construe that such action by these students was play acting? Such indignity against one person is an attach on the dignity of us all. The University must draw a line which protects the human dignity and human rights of all persons.

  • Clint - 2008-02-28 01:16

    Look, if these guys produced an obviously racist video I say throw the book at them... but, where do we draw the line. In a democratic state there should be a healthy dose of freedom of speech... no matter how stupid or insensitive that speech is.... especially if the speech is used as part of open discussion and or education. I'm not saying I agree with these guys... but if we throw the book at them we need to slam Zuma for his rascist sing-a-longs and his black only party (apartheid the sequel)

  • SEAN - 2008-02-28 03:21

    obviously all the politicians will take it like they want to !! If it`s true , then yes , they should be punished !! I hate any sort of initiation s@#t ! My point is that some people can take any sort of initiation , but some people get damaged for the rest of their lives! BUT NOW OBVIOUSLY THIS WHOLE THING BOILS DOWN TO A RACIAL THING !!! Wonder what the reason is ? HMMMMMM , let me gues ? Because the people that commited the act were white ? Just asking ? But all the rapes and murders .....

  • Peter - 2008-02-28 03:38

    In the best case scenario, they were making fun of black people in a country that has seen black people on the wrong end of racism for hundreds of years. Shame on them and this is international news by the way CNN,BBC,etc are all covering this.

  • Brandon - 2008-02-28 04:09

    It is sad to see how these students in their final year at varsity that they still know nothing about basic good manners and common decency.They are clueless of how to treat fellow human beings. What type of future leaders is this varsity breeding.

  • Abel - 2008-02-28 05:22

    If you could see all black african are still suffering even still today. So I would say we need to pull our socks together to make sure South Africa is at the right level in all aspects.

  • Lourens - 2008-02-28 05:56

    I'm very proud of these guys. They did what blacks to do whites each and every day. I am not a racist myself, and would never go and do this just for the sake of getting back at black people. But the message is - Black people are allowed to discriminate against white people (even criminally - like murder and rape) and nobody gives a hoot... These guys have done nothing criminal and I hope UFS are ordered by court to give them a million bucks each. Well done.

  • Dr E.K Rouwenhorst - 2008-02-28 06:05

    Why is white against black racism always on the front pages and international news when nothing is said or done when blacks murder whites on a daily basis? What about all the thousands of whites that are murdered, high jacked, and attacked on a daily basis. That is never mentioned. South Africa is a ticking time bomb.

  • taurus - 2008-02-28 06:41

    If it was just play-acting, then obviously this whole thing can be cleared up by asking the involved cleaners what really happened. Where are they?

  • Dave - 2008-02-28 06:47

    This matter will no doubt give all the black students an excuse to behave like barbarians once again - get over yourselves people!!!!

  • Cynicus - 2008-02-28 06:52

    ... "just play-acting" ... ons glo julle. Werklik!

    No, wait! I just saw a flock of pigs flying past the window ...

  • Evan Hannie - 2008-02-28 06:54

    These assholes have destroyed what little credibility afrikaners have left. Having been one of those being oppressed by afrikaners, I have forgiven them as I could not go on with my life if i did not. This incident however reminds one that until you really commit yourself to being a compassionate human being, respecting one another it will only be lip service. These boys must be made an example of. This is the only way the future will be better for all of us.

  • marian van der walt - 2008-02-28 06:55

    they must get their medisine back and get fired.

  • ricky - 2008-02-28 07:02

    Sounds abit lame coming from a lawyer.To many people are trying to make light of this incident.

  • MM - 2008-02-28 07:09

    What on earth were these guys thinking,these people are a disgrace.

  • civilised - 2008-02-28 07:12

    yes strange indeed that this video surfaces NOW all of the sudden. just the political leverage the ANC needed fuelling the 'blame apartheid' brigade. who cares about this video? Something you havent seen before? I've suffered much worse initiation rites, unwillingly at that, unlike the blacks in the video. Blacks commit boer genocide in natal and afrikaner genocide in the suburbs (with government endorsement!). Its only a matter of time before afrikaners retaliate. beware.

  • KM - 2008-02-28 07:12

    I dont beleive the 'play acting' defence. Surely one of the guys who did this bragged to his girlfriend about it, hence she released it to the media when they broke up. Why would she use it if she was aware that it was play acting? She would know that she would look foolish if it turned out to be proved to play acting. This leads me to the conclusion that she released to get back at the student as she knew the video was true and not play acting...

  • Charlie - 2008-02-28 07:16

    I don't believe they were just play acting. This is just a cop out and they should be punished for what they did. I wonder if they saw that poor woman on TV crying her eyes out after she found out what they had done. My heart was breaking for them. It's disgusting! Shame on you for treating people so badly.

  • Mart - 2008-02-28 07:19

    Play acting or whatever they call it. Where have these idiots been??? They deserve all that they get. Losers. Apologies from a whitey.

  • Herbert - 2008-02-28 07:22

    LOL M Tereblanche.. with your surname you have do defend our whities often... agreed its a disgrace. I mean even sharks are racicst with the whole "great white" probably has a dutchmen accent, but they swim in the "indian" ocean come now... no place for blatant rasicm like this in SA

  • - 2008-02-28 07:24

    So just because these animals think they are graduates they think they are immune to the law?they forget that their video has audio and not everyone is stupid to believe the play acting shit!!.Anyway what kind of graduates are they gonna be..lawyers...doctors....engineers ?? No Way.. its a shame.why not cancel their degrees completely, they're wasting our (taxpayer's) money.I am disgusted ,be it a white or a black..if one does that to another being the're just like rapists.

  • aj - 2008-02-28 07:28

    There is a correct way of dealing with this. As a white Afrikaans guy let me firstly state that this incident absolutely disgusts me. Bring them to court and have them answer to both criminal and civil claims. But afford them their rights to legal representation and a fair and unbias trail like we do all who are criminaly charged. But show restraint in protest of this action. More barbaric acts like assaulting other inocent students and destroying property destroys the credibility of your outrage

  • Nameless - 2008-02-28 07:31

    Those polititians must just shut up and stop discriminate against the WHOLE university regarding the race issue just because of one incidence. It's one stand alone event that DOESN't mean everyone and the whole university is like that. It's the students that is hurt because they are unable to attend class. STOP PLAYING YOUR STUDENT POLITIC GAME here.

  • Jane - 2008-02-28 07:31

    This clip was just released to fuel race tension. I watched it and I couldn't see what the big deal was. Personally I think anyone stupid enough to go for a "fear factor" type thing deserve what they get.

  • Elza Liebenberg - 2008-02-28 07:31

    I think it was just sick fun. If it happened anywhere else than South Africa, will it still be called apartheid?

  • Die Skim - 2008-02-28 07:31

    In the couple of years I worked as a waiter and this type of interaction was common between us and the kitchen staff. We would joke about "whites only" areas, and they would joke about killing all the whiteys. Someone would ask to see a lady's pass-book, and she would counter that the whities must now carry pass-books. It was mere horseplay, a way of bonding with, and getting to know your colleagues. We shared jokes over a cigarette and a glass of coke after work, no-one felt demeaned in any way.

  • Dagger - 2008-02-28 07:32

    These things happen all the time we just didn?t know about it, I went through the same stuff at University. Get over it.

  • safasfsdf - 2008-02-28 07:38


  • mike - 2008-02-28 07:40

    Why don't they play-act with one of they relatives and let's see if it nice. Even better with they lawyer those guys must urinate in his food then let's see if it's still play acting .

  • Michelle Engelbrecht - 2008-02-28 07:40

    I think its a disgrace that any human can be so cruel to another. I hope they get what they deserve.

  • Benzo - 2008-02-28 07:41

    Pleased to hear that some cool legal heads can put this thing in perspective; a counter balance for the national hysteria of our leaders, feeding the anger of the uneducated masses, is necessary. Let them go back to running the country. There is enough material there to make an even more shocking film.

  • Sam - 2008-02-28 07:42

    Everybody was so sensitive and said these students should rot in jail. Where are you now, big mouth racists!!!!!!

  • Gatvol - 2008-02-28 07:42

    Black people inthis country must come to a realisation that the racist atittude of most white south african are still prominent. Some white people might argue that theey have embraced change but most of them still have some form of racial discrimination. the sad part about all this is that this only fuels the view of most criminals to continue commiting crimes against white people, you only have to look at the kind of brutality that is meted out by these criminals on white people.

  • The Truth - 2008-02-28 07:45

    How do retards like this get accepted into university in the first place?

  • Jason - 2008-02-28 07:46

    I am ANGRY.. Blacks are Angry! and the Anger is growing! Where is Peter Mokaba when you need him!

  • Natasha - 2008-02-28 07:46

    I have to agree with the accused that one must wonder if this is a diversion tactic to distract attention from the damages caused by students. Seems if some groups do something it is swept under the carpet and when others do soemthing it leads to protest marches???

  • Debbie - 2008-02-28 07:52

    I think this is a mountain made of a mole hill. Lets focus of the real crimes of this country, this seems like it has been blown out of proportion becuase its a white on black incident. By all means prosecute the students if they have done wrong but dont make something out of it that its not

  • Habari - 2008-02-28 07:52

    Please read today & ystday' front page of the daily times, unfortunately its this kind of reporting that creates an impression of racist intention in both stories. Yes, not all white ppl in Free State and the whole of SA are racists. However, they & their lawyers' response makes my blood boil. If anyone of those affected was my family member, I would make these animals play.

  • Liesl - 2008-02-28 07:53

    If white Afrikaans people consider this kind of "play" to be cultural, then there is something seriously amis.

  • D Howell - 2008-02-28 07:53

    As a white Afrikaans male I have to say that those guys are a bunch of idiotic fools of lesser intelligence who should not be allowed to even further their tertiary studies as they would not be an asset to this wonderful country. At best they should clean prison toilets as it would seem that they have a twisted toilet sense of humor. Fools like themselves make it difficult for me because now I'm seen as a racist pig because I'm Afrikaans. Bloody idiots.

  • SMG - 2008-02-28 07:53

    I'm sorry, but do we have DUMB written on our foreheads?? What these kids did was cruel and intentional. To say that they were only 'acting' is just ridiculous! I am a white person and I strongly condemn the actions of these kids. For te lawyers to cover this up as merely nothing is just an insult to those poor ladies who were subjected to such cruelty. I agree with M Terblanche, and would strongly support the sentiments that the people who made and acted in the video be punished.

  • Michael Floyd - 2008-02-28 07:55

    All of SA society must be punihed if they do things that fuel the divide amoungst our citizens - no matter what colour or creed - from the "umshini wham" and "kill the boer - kill the farmer" statements made by our leaders to what these students did - they should all be locked away - and please do not equate them to animals - rather barbarians - because that is the way they act and say things that push the race barrier. SA is a beautiful country - let's all look and work to the future.

  • Poli poli - 2008-02-28 07:59

    Let them have fun for now their time is coming!!!

  • CH - 2008-02-28 08:01

    This comment was posted on news 24 yesterday.Quote "the jokes on you silly white boy. You think Mugabe is a fool (think again)It is one way of getting revenge against the whites (it is called a secret agenda)If Whites were thrown out from SA, the white world would react silly. Squeeze them slowly, raping, murdering them one by one, until 90% is on board to Perth. - simunye grooves" Unquote. The media will ride white mistakes to the bone but blacks have a free for all!

  • noolkop - 2008-02-28 08:01

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but I do hope these yokels from UFS get sent to prison and are raped daily for their duration of their sentence.

  • T.R. Motlhaping - 2008-02-28 08:01

    I feel very sorry for those boys! Their acts not only display they?re outright barbarism, but simply how bigoted they really are! It is only low esteemed individuals who would feel any good about such discomforting deeds ? I mean what do you really derive from feeding somebody a urine infested food? What a mode to celebrate Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Aluta continua

  • gabariel - 2008-02-28 08:05

    It is obvious that we are forcing ourselves down their throat, and they were bound to vomit us out sooner or later. I guess this is the moment.

  • mb - 2008-02-28 08:06

    Obviously no one can prove now beyond reasonable doubt that what we see is actually what happened, they might get away with murder really, or they might have been really playing, foolishly i might add.

  • The fisherman - 2008-02-28 08:07

    Far worse crimes are committed daily in this country by black people such as murder, rape, hijacking etc, etc, etc. But yet the whitey do something that is probably stupid but not illegal and it makes headlines for weeks. Get off your #$*@ high horses you hipocrits. White people get burnt, beaten, raped by black people, but play a prank and make someone drink piss and we are bordering on civil war. Mentality in this country sux.