UFS getting workers' statements

2008-02-28 15:32

Bloemfontein - Lawyers for the University of the Free State (UFS) have apparently identified grounds for possible criminal charges against students who made a racially offensive video on campus, Rector Frederick Fourie said on Thursday.

The video, featuring black UFS employees on their knees eating food which had been urinated upon 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.

Fourie said the lawyers would soon formulate the charges after they had studied the video on Wednesday.

"They (lawyers) will speak to the staff members to get statements from them and decide who will formally put the complaint on the table."

Fourie told journalists in Bloemfontein the "process was going" in terms of steps taken against the culprits.

"We are very serious about doing that right."

Fourie said the two students still in the hostel were expelled from the campus and not the university - as there was a legal process which still had to start.

On the possible closure of the Reitz men's hostel, Fourie said emotions were running high about the issue at the moment, but management felt strongly that it should be closed.

He said an official decision on the closure had not been made yet as some legal processes had to be followed.