Tutu rejects Reitz critics

2009-10-22 18:06

Cape Town - Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is not concerned at criticism of his stand on forgiveness for the University of the Free State students accused of racist behaviour.

"I always have people criticising me. That's not new," he told journalists in Cape Town on Thursday.

"And I always end up being right."

The four Reitz hostel students were suspended after allegedly videotaping three university cleaners eating meat which had apparently been urinated on.

The university's new rector, Jonathan Jansen, last week announced the university was withdrawing disciplinary charges against them in a gesture of reconciliation.

He was supported by Tutu, who said Jansen had "done us proud".

The move has however been opposed by the African National Congress and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, who described it as "a superficial trade-off which further impugns the dignity of the victims".

A lawyer for the four has asked the Free State director of public prosecutions to drop a charge of crimen injuria against them.

  • RATAU - 2009-10-22 18:54

    Speak of self-righteousness.When is the Arch going to learn from his mistakes.What does he imply by saying at the end he emerges right.What nonsense, did he emerge right in the Zuma debacle?He thought COPE was going to win the elections.I'm keen to know where he stands in relation to Affirmative Action.Hopefully he would contradict his son Trevor regarding this.My dear little Bishop please learn to shut-up at appropriate times.

  • Wim - 2009-10-22 19:07

    The comment of a great man vs the racists.

  • Jonathan - 2009-10-22 19:26

    It is all very well to drop the charges but these students must show true repentance and wash the cleaners feet and ask for their forgiveness. this does not have to be a public affair although it would publicly extend the hand of reconciliation we as South Africans are yearning to see.

  • Lunga Biyela - 2009-10-22 19:27

    "And I always end up being right."

    Is it? You said you wont vote, but were seen voting.
    You once compared President Zuma to Obama, said you wouldn't be as proud of Zuma as Americans are of Obama.
    Archbishop, we tend to take everything you say with a pinch of salt these days.

  • emma - 2009-10-22 19:34

    Given the extreme violence raging in our country - a race war or genocide by anyone's definition - victims or relatives of victims are bound to react emotionally or make disparaging statements about those belonging to the perpetrator group.

    South Africa is fast turning into a lunatic asylum where it is a greater crime to offend a black person's dignity than to kill a white. Just compare the media response to the Reitz video where four black women merrily drank orange juice in a mock iniaitiation ceremony with white Afrikaner students to the case of the black taxi driver who deliberately ran down 16-year old Bernadine Kruger on a scooter, killing her in a clear act of anti-white racism.

    In order to come clean on race, the ANC government should publish all statistics on interracial crimes, including murder, rape and robbery. We need to know the race of both perpetrators and victims.

    Only the truth will heal us.

  • Phil Steel - 2009-10-22 19:40

    I totally agree with Desmond Tutu, what a marvelous human being this man is! If I may, I would also would like to say that this whole thing has been blown right out of proportion yet again just to re assert the race card, which is used time and time again, (why we cant just move forward and stop blaming each other all the time just leaves me speechless). To get back to the issue at hand, when I was a student I also had to live through a drastic initiation and believe me it was far worse than this one, we were white and black students doing this together and we felt like absolute idiots but we survived it just like the students before and after us.

  • Cire - 2009-10-22 19:44

    Jansen has always made more sense about education in general than the apparatchiks of the system. But I am surprised the archbishop worked it out for hinself as well.

  • Gruntfuttock of Africa - 2009-10-22 19:59

    I admire Archbishop Desmond Tutu so much! He has got this right.. it was stupidity on the part of the students, not criminality which led to this furore.

  • HAMMER - 2009-10-22 20:10

    If these students were black i wonder what the critics would have said? If semenya is called a child then these children did wrong and i am sure they regret what they have done.Let they further their studies and let us concentrate on bigger problems(not challenges because if you solve a problem then it was a challenge if you can not solve it then you have a BIG problem

  • RUDOLF - 2009-10-22 20:15

    I also believe that the Prof has done us proud. Crime and punishment goes to a properly constituted court. The opinions that emanated from so called "government circles' are, as with many other opinions of theirs, ill informed, biased and not worthy of comment. In other words "pure political hogwash".

  • cruz - 2009-10-22 20:20

    You would swear they killed someone!! A lot worse has been done and said by blacks to whites and nothing gets said! Well done A.B. Tutu and Mr Jansen. Grow up people, this country will carry on sliding down the slippery slope it is on if you don't wisen up and drop your racist behaviour!

  • Prophet - 2009-10-22 20:33

    Respect Archbishop Tutu, with people like you around there is actually hope for the reaonsable South Africans in this country!!! God Bless

  • conscience - 2009-10-23 23:27

    conflict!it has the power to inflame hatred but it also has the potential for love.a contradiction? yes ! emotion is a human quality, emotion can present itself as evil and as good. mankind is inherently good.ask yourself the question ;is an act of love to another human being more strenuous than an act of hate? what impact will it have on my state of mind?hindu,moslem,christian etc. (except satanism )we have an universal goal : peace , love , humbleness.politics are necessry to coordinate society ,but politics must become our downfall? please go back to your inherent sense of good. black , white , brown , yellow etc. we must see each other as people(ubuntu).see the world as we live in as chessgame.a blunder will have it's consequences.not only for the victms but ultimitely for the perpetrators.everyone loses!drop the blamegame and start a to find each other!

  • David, - 2009-10-24 12:06

    Emma my girl, thanks for the guts to tell it as it is. Admitted, Tutu's knowledge of the Bible is sketchy to say the least, but Phil Steel also has a point. Hammere hit the nail on the haed when you point out What if it was the other way around? Malema and the ANC would have laughed their heads off and swept the "incident" under the carpet just like all their other sins.
    Corruption breeds corruption.
    Forgive and forget In spite of laws, Initiation is rife and far wordse than this incident. It's past and gone. Why hold a grudge for the rest of your life?. Get with it. On the long rune YOU are the one whose will be miserable for the rest of your life holding a stupid grudge. Apartheied is far from over. Only difference is it's now on the other foot.

  • Boet - 2009-10-26 13:00

    As much as I respect Archbishop Tutu, I cannot agree that these students should be forgiven. They have committed an abhorrent act of racism and should be punished accordingly. Finish and klaar!

  • Elizabeth - 2009-10-28 19:52

    I fully agree with the Bishop, let bygones be bygones, this was a joke that went terribly wrong and those students took notice that no-one was amused.

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