Race video students apologise

2008-02-28 18:09

Bloemfontein - Two Free State University students apologised on Thursday for their involvement in a racist video which sparked a national outcry.

RC Malherbe and Schalk van der Merwe said they acted without malicious intent, and expressed sorrow for the embarrassment they might have caused to any individual or group, including their parents.

"Messrs Malherbe and Van der Merwe... participated in the making of the film, but remind their critics that they were and are students," said a statement released by their lawyer in Bloemfontein.

The video, featuring black university employees on their knees eating food which had been urinated on by white students, sparked outrage across the political spectrum.

Filmed last year by students from the Reitz men's residence, it depicts a mock initiation of five black staff members into hostel activities and refers openly to the university's diversity policy for campus residences.

Criminal charges would be brought against the students responsible for the video, the university management said on Wednesday.

'Satirical slant'

Malherbe and Van Der Merwe said in Thursday's statement that the media and the public had crucified them as racists following the publication of the video.

They said the film, made in September 2007, was made as a "satirical slant on a topic which was then prevalent and controversial".

"Although, as was intended at the time, it appears to viewers as if one of the persons urinated in the traditional brew which was prepared, it most certainly did not take place and a close study of the particular insert will confirm that the - totally harmless - liquid was squirted from a bottle," the statement read.

The two men said the four university employees who featured in the film were not only loyal friends of the filmmakers, but also of the inhabitants of Reitz hostel.

The statement said the employees took part voluntarily in the making of the film and even enjoyed it.

The men said the employees knew why the video was shot and were made aware of the fact that the brew was not contaminated.

The statement said until the clip became public, the employees, who were apparently suspended by the university, had good relationships with the hostel residents.

Not racists

Malherbe and Van der Merwe said they were not racists and had no intention of humiliating or degrading the employees or black people in general.

The men said they suspected the film was published with malicious intent.

Earlier in the day, it was reported that a jilted girlfriend was behind the distribution of the video among students on campus.

  • piet - 2008-02-28 18:39

    Well, SA will always have racism and the blacks will always throw in the racist card....typical, thats why I left the Sh@t hole.

  • bob sunami - 2008-02-28 18:39

    Having first read about this incident earlier this week and see the video, one would have to be really dumb to believe this incident was real. It is so obvios that this whole stint was staged and in no way connected to racism or malicious intent. However, it gave people an excuse to let off some steam and have their say and of course created an outcry which hit the papres accross the world. Once again, the world points fingers at South Africa and uses us as a scapegoat for their own problems.

  • malungisa - 2008-02-28 19:03

    it is only afrikaaners who can listen to those stupid excuses,a normal african can easy realize that pepertraiters of apatheinti hold the view that those people can be put under lock and key 27 years as mandela, because they are refreshing the memorise of the brutal colonial period

  • jock - 2008-02-28 19:03

    I think the media should back off with its racist remarks ove the incident. The university should investigate and determine the intent of the video and its severity. I am sick of this media hype over anything 'racist'. The media need to report facts and stop sensationalising everything for readership and sales purposes. Im glad that the other side of the story has emerged and its beginning to show the skewwed alignment the media has with reporting rubbish that sells, rather that the boring truth!

  • Sindle - 2008-02-28 19:12

    It is very obvious that it was staged and did not have any racist/malicious intent! We must stop being dumb by beleiving everything the media throws at us. Secondly we must stop allowing this stuff to reach the media by reading and further making news headlines abroad. Just yesterday, I read about it here in London in a newspaper and it has a destroys our image and does not portray a good country and ultimately damages tourism, which means fewer economic spin offs. - Sindle Mbalaganhle

  • Z - 2008-02-28 19:24

    This was racist as it may get and there will never be any justification for an act like this. The fact that we have some whites condoning this act just shows that we have a long way to go. Why these boys didn't use their mothers, or any white person for that matter, to put across any point they wanted to put across? In anycase we all been in all universities residences have racial intergrated their students, why this particular unversity resist change? Racisim at its best.

  • Lily - 2008-02-28 19:28

    Nothing is racist to a white South African. Why am I not surprised, to them apartheid was not that bad after all. The world must see the type of immigrants they're receiving in their countries, scums of the world who'd rather change the country than change attitudes, parasites who're running in all directions now that apartheid easy life & benefits are diminishing. To the Brits, Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders - is this the type of junk you want in your countries?

  • Lily - 2008-02-28 19:31

    The ANC, Mandela and Tutu must see the dark side of their legacy, they went out of their way to preach reconciliation to people who were never interested and did little to address issues that were and are still consuming blacks to this day.

  • john - 2008-02-28 19:32

    The slanted media is certainly having a field day with this "video horror." I guess muti murders, the Boer genocide, and baby rape are too commonplace to bother to report! Give us a break!

  • Nick - 2008-02-28 19:38 lets say there's no media hype with racism the 'obvious' stuff, uhm...i cant see them having done this to white university staff....'sorry' really fixes it all doesn't it

  • Adam - 2008-02-28 19:46

    Hang on before anyone starts defending these boys and brats, they should be prosecuted. At 21/22 years old they must bear the consequences of their actions. Surely they must have know that what they were doing was degrading. They formed into the stereotypical "Dutchman". I am white but what they did was ruthless and they should be ashamed. I am not saying that prison is the answer but they should get a fine at least. This behaviour is should not be accepted on whites or balcks from both sides.

  • Mike - 2008-02-28 19:46

    If the situation was inverted across the color spectrum do you think it would make world headlines?? I seriously doubt it, and anyway didn't you know only whites can be racist.

  • Willem - 2008-02-28 19:50

    So many things do not make sense. Why are the "victims" laughing and enjoying themselves on the video? Why wait six months to suddenly become too traumatised to speak? I strongly believe that these old ladies have been intimidated to work with the people who wanted to use this as a political weapon to discredit whites in general and the Afrikaners in particular. The ANC needs stuff like this to keep on reminding people what and who they were "freed" from. They have nothing else to boast about.

  • Jay - 2008-02-28 19:50

    "Earlier in the day, it was reported that a jilted girlfriend was behind the distribution of the video among students on campus." Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned

  • prince - 2008-02-28 20:06

    i have seen old weman playing very rough with white students at the residence whre i used to stay. that is why now after reading some of the comments i think the workers and the white students where staging it .maybe

  • Luzuko - 2008-02-28 20:16

    These two little liars will say just anything to save their own skin. These repugnant savages need to be dealt with extremely, there's no need to brush off this incident as one not motivated by racism "no excuses please". Even if there was no urine involved, what was the purpose behind staging urination? On this controversial topic, why did it include only black people on a white residence?

  • Pierre - 2008-02-28 20:22

    Ek wil graag die boodskap in Afrikaans skryf sienende die rasiste is mos altyd Afrikaans spreukende mans. Wat vir my baie snaaks is dat die sogenoemde RASISME kaart altyd gespeel word as daar nie niks anders is om oor te kla nie. Wat die latte gedoen het was defnitief baie dom en in ons huidige politiek gedryfte Suid Afrika baie ongevraag, die perde maak nou weer al wat wit is sleg, by julle die koerante en die regering. Skors hulle,bou n brug en kom daar oor. Rasisme se GAT

  • siphiwe - 2008-02-28 20:25

    what brings this country down is excactly this that every thime something happens people try and find excuses. there's so many good white south africans in this country i can testify to that. but let us all also accept that there is still an element of racist people out there white and black. in order fo us to get things right is for the good people to condem wrong doing as such not to always find excuses for whites and acts totaly diferent towards another.this act is plain racist finish&klaar.

  • Gert - 2008-02-28 20:26

    Do I remember correctly that a black person working for a fast food franchise was caught on camera where he spat on hamburgers that was sold to white people? What happened to him?

  • Ironic - 2008-02-28 20:32

    I?m just wondering why these headlines weren?t made international. Oh, I suppose it?s not that bad... Mom tells killer of kind son. - A weeping mother told a hijacker convicted of killing her son that if he had asked for his car he would have handed it over. (Black man killing white person) Pupils shot at KZN school - A 16-year-old boy shot and wounded three fellow pupils at the Siyathuthuka secondary school in Inanda in KwaZulu-Natal (Black on black) Women 'can't' wear pants - Women found wearing trousers in T Section in Umlazi, Durban, risk being stripped to their underwear, having the offending clothing set alight and being barred from living in the area (Black Men on black woman) Man admits to raping girl, 9 - A 25 year-old man accused of raping a girl aged nine, appeared in the Grahamstown High Court on Thursday and pleaded guilty. (Black Man ? black child) These are but 4 headlines of many in the past week. The common denominator is BLACK MAN / MEN committing these heinous crimes. But only white people can be cruel and racist, right?

  • Mandla - 2008-02-28 20:46

    Its high time black people claimed their dignity back. These whites contnue to think that they are superior beings who should be treated like demi-gods. There was never reconciliation in this country and there will never be. Throw them into jail to rot there. These boys are barbaric and no better than wild beasts.These whites continue to torment our people as if they are actors in their satirical comedies.The law should descend on them like the "scorned girlfriend".

  • Koos - 2008-02-28 20:47

    It is so Ironic of the South African Culture to condemn this video as racist. If I soil my pants in public it will be a racist act, just because i am white. If everybody condemning this video is so pure at heart, why didnt they make such a big issue about the white(international) reporters were denied access to the Black Media Seminar. Inverted racism, only its legal and fair when there is no previously disadvantaged at the bloody end of the stick. Get realistic!

  • Nobleman - 2008-02-28 20:52

    In fact, this is not an isolated incident of racism! - They kill black people in their farms, and say they thought they were animals, they will use their parent's rifles and take the lives of innocent toddlers, and say they were suffering from psychological problems; to be sure, its a "white satanic culture" - To them, justice and morality is served well by murder, theft, rape and lies - Do we not see therefore that underneath their white skins, beat the hearts of the most ravening of all wolves?

  • kaddy - 2008-02-28 20:58

    "Why did it include only black people on a white residence?" - Luzuko asks. Because blacks want to integrate into the white residence

  • tract - 2008-02-28 21:02

    Is it just a coincidence that the release of this video coincided with Jacob Zuma?s ?black only? meeting with the FBJ?

  • Dave - 2008-02-28 21:08

    What are the reasons for these people to make such an offensive video? This was wrong. Is it because of transformation/forced integration at their hostel? Should we force this type op "transformation" onto a very divided society?

  • Outta here - 2008-02-28 21:17

    I don't agree with what has happened but I am sorry to say, no one forced these ladys and gun point to do these things. PS Lily catch a wake up it's not the scum leaving this country it's the skilled people that are going...

  • Lily - 2008-02-28 21:18

    Kaddy - UFS is a public institution which is financed by the South African tax payer, blacks don't want to integrate into white residences, they want access to what is rightfully theirs in the land of their forefathers. I hear you say UFS was built by whites, don't forget black labour and their taxes, blacks were taxed by the apartheid regime to finance the luxury life of a white man, we haven't forgotten that. I can only imagine what the Brits are thinking of the Afrikaners in London.

  • Mimza - 2008-02-28 21:33

    If this is propaganda to discredit whites why are the barbarians and their rector apologising, why have they hired a lawyer? South Africa, my country,you are way too beautiful to have space for these animals,how I wish they could emigrate to Australia and do so fast. Whites are desperate to exploit and rubbish you again, what they don't want to know is that it'll be a cold day in hell before they get control of you again. I'm not surprised, white SA have always been barbaric and uncivilised.

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