UFS drops Reitz case

2009-10-17 12:15

Bloemfontein - The University of the Free State has dropped charges against the four students who sparked an outcry for allegedly feeding residence staff urine, the Star newspaper reported on Saturday.

The university's new rector and vice-chancellor Dr Jonathan Jansen apologised to the country for what students Johnny Roberts, Danie Grobler, Schalk van der Merwe and RC Malherbe had done to residence workers at the Reitz residence in 2007.

The four made Rebecca Adams, Laukaziemma Koko, Noom Phororo, Nitta Ntseng and David Molete - all cleaners at the residence - eat meat which had been urinated upon. They videotaped the incident.

Jansen was speaking at his inauguration as the university's rector in Bloemfontein on Friday. The decision was part of his blueprint to transform the university. The university, he said would also pay reparations to Adams, Phororo, Ntseng and Molete.

The video showed the four white male students making the four black, elderly female workers down a bottle of beer, run a race, play rugby and then kneel and eat meat which had allegedly been urinated upon. But Jansen was criticised for short-circuiting a judicial process.

Advocate Mothusi Lepheana, provincial manager of the Human Rights Commission said the commission would still pursue its "precedent-setting" civil action against the university and the four students.

"We're finalising our documents and might be serving those to documents tin the Bloemfontein High Court next week." Jansen also announced major changes to hostel residences from 2010. He said from next year, the practice of initiation will be illegal and the consumption alcohol in residences will come to an end.

He says any senior student who lays his hand on a first year student will not only be brought before a disciplinary committee, but will face criminal prosecution in the courts.

  • jog - 2009-10-17 12:55

    Here we go again ANCYL and all its ilk calling for Jansen's head. lets burn,intimidaten etc etc

  • Joe - 2009-10-17 13:00

    As we say-'moputso oa bona o leholimong'. Bad luck will follow them for the rest of their lives for that despicable evil act they did.They are cursed, and very soon they will be getting what's due to them!

  • Benzo - 2009-10-17 13:01

    Well done, JJ. We cannot change history but we can change the future.

  • Afrikanerbul - 2009-10-17 13:19

    AG PLEHEEZE. The students did not urinate on the food. It is clear from the video. Moreover, the sudents said that they only pretended to do it. If you want to print the story, do so objectively. Do not be selective with the facts. To urinate on the food and to pretend to urinate on the food are miles apart. It is not just a fact that you omit to mention.
    Having said that I still think what the students did was wrong.

  • Benh - 2009-10-17 13:31

    What a pitty, if these woman of colour where white no fuss would have been caused. They should now that for years, even when I was in std 6 in 1970 we where innitiated and altuogh some of the things we had to do was painfull we did it in the spirit of the day, grow up black South Africans and see it for the way it is presented. It is can't be blamed to racism all the time, eishhh.

  • sean - 2009-10-17 15:40

    its a shame that u.f.s has decided to drop this case. its a clear sign that even after aparthied, we have university officials who have no respect whatsoever for black pple. these folks were humiliated and believe me, if blacks did this to whites,charges and criminal prosecutions would have been inevitable.but no, in the universities eyes, whites have to have the upper hand be immune to all human rights violations and atrocities prosecutions perpetrated to blacks. now is this democracy? blacks in this nation have suffered for a long time, and even till this day, we r the victims of racial profiling and violence. these ignorant university students have to be charged and sent to prison for this. this university needs to be forced to tear down the walls of segragation and its amazing to me that it is the white students that dont want to be living in the same residence as blacks. now, to all whites, what does this say about you pple? you talk about democracy, but is your racist attitude contribute to democracy and a healthy society? after 1994, we held out our hands for us to join hands , unite and create a better country. i guess whites dont see mankind in terms of diversity, but white power.

  • Ben - 2009-10-17 16:46

    Because there is no case to answer! Why does it take the state so long to conclude a simple case like this? Can it be so difficult? No - the racists in government want to keep the issue alive. The state will never be able to secure a conviction as it was a joke. The workers played all along - now they want compensation. What about the thousands of other victims of serious crime in this country? This place is fantasy-land!

  • Anton - 2009-10-19 10:52

    Such a pity that everything in this country is turned into some form of racial hate. What these four students did is in no way acceptable but why do we have to class it as racist - I would much rather see this an act of humiliating fellow human beings and then adress it in that way. The word "racist" is only serving to create anger and as long as this is thrown around by senior people in government and their followers, unity in this country will never be achieved.

  • StoneThrower - 2009-10-20 09:02

    This is just absolute bull – firstly, where does this rector get the guts to apologise to the country on behalf of these 4 students - why are they not apologising for something they did -unless of course they DON'T think they did anything wrong. This type of behaviour is exactly what takes this country backwards - how can black people "get over the apartheid era" that white people so desparately want us to get over, when we're being reminded of it on a daily basis...yes daily basis - this is not the only act of humiliation that black people are still being exposed to - it's just one of the few that happend to get into the media.
    White people need to be grateful that they are living in a democracy and not in a “Zimbabwe” – they need to be sensitive to black peoples feelings over issues such as these – they need to know that Mandela did them a favor by not allowing black people to retaliate against what we were put through during the apartheid years, so please, stop making excuses for this delinquents – they deserve to be punished for what they did, and allowing them to return to UFS is totally unacceptable – this is just another way of, ONCE AGAIN, showing black people that their pride and dignity means nothing!!

  • Godfrey - 2009-10-22 10:57

    I think sometimes black South Africans need to look at the reality and stop moaning. We need to ask ourselves whether our fight against apartheid was to gain liberation and get our diverse cultures and reliogiuos beliefs be acknowledged and respected firstly by the governing system and then by the rest of the others we happened to share this beautiful contry with, or whether we wanted to be accomodated in other's mysterious ways of hatred and thinking low and inferior and defend ourselves by always claiming to be modern thinking. Some of these people you can still deduce their immature thinking from some of the comments made towards this nonsensical act as well as the decision following it. It makes me wonder how long are we still going to stomach leaving with people who can sacrifice and trade others' integrity for a position. Just like Jonathan Janson who pronounce nonsense on the day of his inaguration as the university rector, don't you wonder if he didn't do that because he so wanted to get to the helm of the university? Sometimes we need to wake-up early not to realize later that we are no more as black nation of this country. We seem to be misled by one problem and that is none other than fear of ourselves, we fear that if we do the right things to protect ourselves, we would be seen as non-modern thinking. We fought for liberation being as one. Those who died in the struggle did it for no one but all of us, why only now we want to start thinking that transforming this country further we need to start fighting again as one. We toppled the system that had machenary, can we now fear dealing with individuals who seem so eager to take us back to our bad past? South Africans, let's leave the dream and not dream to leave.

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