UFS horror race video surfaces

2008-02-26 23:26

Bloemfontein - A racism bombshell hit the University of the Free State (UFS) on Tuesday when a video was distributed showing five black cleaners at a traditionally white men's residence on the campus being "initiated".

Amid loud laughter, they are shown taking part in races, downing beers and drinking a mixture in which a student had secretly urinated.

Hundreds of furious black students gathered on the lawn next to the campus library on Tuesday afternoon, demanding an explanation and singing protest songs.

Student leaders managed to persuade them to delay a protest march until Wednesday morning.

Screaming students condemned the scenes on the video and waved placards with messages such as "Enough is enough".

Speaking to Volksblad at the spontaneous campus protest, a student said: "We're furious. The problems at the campus have now escalated, and become a full-blown human-rights issue."

The video was apparently recorded by students at the Reitz men's residence last September.

Given mixture to drink

The narration on the video begins: "Once upon a time the 'boere' lived peacefully here on Reitz Island, until one day when the less-advantaged discovered the word 'integration' in the dictionary."

The cleaners take part in a "boat race" (a beer-downing competition), a dance, a sprint race, a mock rugby practice and finally, they're given a mixture to drink.

The video shows garlic being put into a dish full of what looks like dog food.

"We know they're less privileged so we're adding a bit of meat," says the narrator.

Another student puts the bowl on the toilet and urinates into the mixture.

The brew is then distributed in plastic glasses to the cleaners.

All five of them spit out the first mouthful, but try to finish it amid loud encouragement from the students.

The video ends with the words: "That, at the end of the day, is what we think of integration."

This is followed by one of the students asking a cleaner: "What does 'sefebe' mean in Afrikaans?"

"A black whore," she replies.

Integration policy

The Rector, Professor Frederick Fourie, said at a media conference on Tuesday evening that the cleaners were traumatised when they saw how their trust had been abused by the students at the residence.

"The humiliation stems from the way in which the video is presented."

He said the video clearly referred to the integration policy which was being implemented from this year by the university.

In short, the policy lays down what percentages of black and white students will be allocated to the residences.

Up to the end of last year, whites and blacks lived in separate residences.

Fourie said: "There's an ugly crust on this issue. The video's a direct indication of that."

Four students can be clearly identified on the video. Two of them still live in Reitz residence and the university management has barred them from the campus. The other two have completed their studies.

Fourie said: "We will act swiftly and efficiently against the students concerned, and begin a more-comprehensive inquiry into the affair. We're also considering filing criminal charges."

He said it had been a highly emotional day on the campus, during which student representatives, members of the house committee and university staff had roundly condemned the content of the video.

Planning protest march

Helen Zille, national leader of the Democratic Alliance strongly condemned "the disgusting abuse" of the cleaners, by the students who made the video.

Meanwhile, the Freedom Front Plus, too, has condemned the video.

Youth leader Cornelius Jansen van Rensburg distanced the organisation from the "atrocities screened on a video reportedly produced at the institution".

"The FF Plus Youth will never condone, nor justify, the violation of the human dignity of any person.

"If the video footage is real and the description thereof in media reports, correct, the event speaks of inhumane conduct which should not be left unpunished," said Van Rensburg.

The cleaners' union, Nehawu, intended joining several black or mainly black groups who were planning a protest march at the campus on Wednesday morning.

They'll be handing over a memo listing their grievances and suggestions to the UFS management. - Beeld / Sapa

  • Click here to view the video

    • norman - 2008-02-27 00:15

      This is what will alienate our brothers and sisters who have been so patient these past 300 years or so...lets eradicate any such blatant filth from our youth and come together to help heal our country and build a Great Land for us and the future generations...the sooner the better....Viva to our country s healing and intergration Viva

    • David - 2008-02-27 00:17

      While this is bad and wrong, it is just what happens when you try force people to do things against their natural preferences. There is nothing wrong with voluntary separation as long as it isn't hurting anybody, and forcing otherwise is against the principles of freedom that people died for. Forcing "integration" predictably increases resentment and polarisation, feeding into a cycle of hate.

    • Willem Esterhuyse - 2008-02-27 00:38

      Prosecute them swiftly and efficiently and put them in jail - people like them put my and the future of millions of others in SA in jeopardy. This combined with the humans rights violation surely make them deservant of a view with vertical bars in front. Then they can get their turn to be initiated. Pagel

    • BC - 2008-02-27 05:51

      This is absolutely disgusting and no human being should EVER have to experience that, least of all the people who render a service to these mindless idiots. I would personally like to kick their arses back into the 19th century. What they have done is cruel and demeaning. However, if we look at the broader race relations landscape in SA, I'm sure we can acknowledge that the environment created by the ANC-led government is, how shall we put it, less than conducive to fostering unity.

    • Alan - 2008-02-27 06:59

      The producers of this material are fools. Unfortunately they were misguided but unless the government implements special rights for the minorities like the blacks enjoy in the USA, we will see more of this line of irrational behaviour as a result of ANC attempts to obliterate the white minority. The blacks- only bsj are just as bad as these fools but what is the ANC doing about that?

    • Alan - 2008-02-27 06:59

      The producers of this material are fools. Unfortunately they were misguided but unless the government implements special rights for the minorities like the blacks enjoy in the USA, we will see more of this line of irrational behaviour as a result of ANC attempts to obliterate the white minority. The blacks- only bsj are just as bad as these fools but what is the ANC doing about that?

    • Hennie - 2008-02-27 07:05

      I cannot take people like this. They break down everything I (and most other South Africans) try to build. Send them to jail for all I care.

    • Ben Smit - 2008-02-27 07:06

      This is absolutely disgusting! I cannot believe that stuff like this actually happens! The involved persons should be stripped of their citizenship and banned from the country. They are not worthy of being called South Africans. They are destroying years of hard work trying to fix this country, and give all white people a bad name as racists. Who gives any person the right to look down upon a person of another race! Shame on you!

    • Ben Smit - 2008-02-27 07:06

      This is absolutely disgusting! I cannot believe that stuff like this actually happens! The involved persons should be stripped of their citizenship and banned from the country. They are not worthy of being called South Africans. They are destroying years of hard work trying to fix this country, and give all white people a bad name as racists. Who gives any person the right to look down upon a person of another race! Shame on you!

    • Die Baas - 2008-02-27 07:08

      Ag nee my moer man. Ek is ook so ontgroen en dit is hoe dinge al vir jare daar gedoen word. Hou op om alles as rasisties te sien. Julle is swart, get over it. As jy jou toets gaan dop is dit seker ook omdat jy onderdruk word. Maak julle oë oop mense en hou op om die soor stront te vat.

    • tt - 2008-02-27 07:13

      I have learnt to live my life without stressing about black and white issues, but you white ppl must remember that there are those with little minds and do not blame it on ANC when they start attacking you at nights, things like UFS story aint helping the situation at all. Good luck with your own medicine.

    • Jon - 2008-02-27 07:14

      These animals must face the full might of the law. The ANC govornment has bent over backwards to accomodate the insecurities of the Afrikaners and accomodate thier backward thinking (allowing places like Oranjia to exist), but enough is enough. The appeasement of the Afrikaners must stop! Afrikaners must assimilate or emigrate!!

    • xolani - 2008-02-27 07:20

      I'm sickened to the core by this video post 1994 and pockets of white SA are still battling to grapple with the changes in SA. But let me just say the wills of change are moving and SA will be truly transformed. Let us not fool ourselves we are not a "rainbow nation" we are as divided as ever and this cowards who did this to elderly women shame on them and their families it goes to show what kind of background these white racist afrikaners come from.

    • Brenton - 2008-02-27 07:22

      This video has got nothing to do with integration, they are only using it as an excuse! Those people didn't even live on campus.

    • Brandon - 2008-02-27 07:22

      Ag ja, round and round we go. Monumental stupidity.

    • Jerry - 2008-02-27 07:23

      David, you should go to someone who can examine your brains. something is wrong with you.

    • ricky - 2008-02-27 07:27

      This is the kind of reasonong we have to live with everyday.Nothing but nothing can smooth this over. It's horrendous simple as that and no amount of reasoning can gloss it over.

    • Trevor - 2008-02-27 07:28

      Principles of freedom? The ANC-led government? Why can't it just be that these are just some really bad people who need to be sent to jail for the rest of their lives? They did this to someone's mother and would they feel if someone did the same to their mothers and fathers? The irony of this situation is that the ANC-led government made their education at the university possible...and these people they abused made their stay at their stay comfortable. Painful!

    • Not so bad - 2008-02-27 07:28

      This is really not all that bad, I don't understand what the issue is, the ladies were clearly not offended, and all was done in good spirit! Please people, rather look at the crime statistics in this country!!!!

    • Dadaman - 2008-02-27 07:30

      How do they expect us to forgive them as Former President Mandela asked us to do, I am pleading to God to give a black man power and streght to deal with the enermy for good. days are numbered for those who dont see it. I would personally kill them.

    • nk - 2008-02-27 07:30

      William your comments sound matured and unbaised & looking at the issue rather than personal interest. i've a very serious concern about David's comment, these are some of the things which will take us backward as a country. If something is wrong lets condemn it regardless or race,culture,sex,religion or ethnicity. His comments are the one feeding into cycle of hate speech, intolarance,forget about the race if this was done to one of his family member will he still say it is ok no justification

    • Charmaine - 2008-02-27 07:32

      I blame the parents of these individuals. Clearly they did not teach them any manners and to have respect for other human beings. Send them off to an island, we don't need people like this!!! Don't they realize what they are doing, myself and most of white people just want to live in peace and happiness in this wonderful country.

    • taurus - 2008-02-27 07:32

      ... there is absolutely NO justification for this so don't even try.

    • jannie - 2008-02-27 07:33

      idiots.... enough said.

    • Steve - 2008-02-27 07:34

      I recall that during national service (yep..that makes me white and in my forties) the riflemen would be instructed to prepare a warm bath for the officers during training in the field. It was given that whichever disgruntled conscript was left to oversee this would urinate in the bath. You can imagine the opportunities for surreptitious expression of your opinion of the system/ leader elements and fellow soldiers which kitchen duty afforded. Nothing new here..... stupid to video it!!!!!

    • Squatter Camp - 2008-02-27 07:35

      A quick step 2 the racism card hey, you don't think similar things are done to those of their same race or even visa versa, it's just not all put on the o so sensitive SA web.......I'm pretty sure they knew they were up to drink something rather putrid, as there were buckets in front of them, interesting right, to get that whiskey which looked pretty legit 2 me. @ the end of the day all cooperated willingly hmmmm freedom of choice I guess...

    • Paul - 2008-02-27 07:36

      Initiation happens all over the world, and to be honest this was a very mild case. This thing is being blown totally out of proportion because it is White on Black. At school, army, university we also had to do demeaning things, drink crap, eat crap etc etc. Oh, I could tell you stories. Get over it, its not that bad.

    • MG - 2008-02-27 07:38

      This is really disgusting, I suggest for your own safety boys to dissappear or leave the contry. This is not over by a long shot.

    • Jodi - 2008-02-27 07:39

      I would like to know why UFS still had separate residences for different races up until last year? Did they not get the news in 1994? As for "forced integration", is the opposite not "forced separation" and an equal violation of choice? This is both a human rights issue, and a labour issue - these women were employees who likely feared losing their jobs if they refused to "participate". As a young South African I am disgusted by my "peers". Prosecute and prevent in the future by integrating youth

    • sandile - 2008-02-27 07:42

      This is inhuman, this should never happen in our country. Whose sons are these boers. who do they think they are. they must be suspended from this racial university, sent to jail and after their sentences leave this country to join their cousins where they can practise this babrbaric act. enough is enough. an example must be set through these fools.

    • Hulisani Ntsandeni - 2008-02-27 07:45

      After almost 10 years into democracy this was not supposed to be happening. The majority of blacks will loose their patient if those culprits are left unpunished. I think we are sitting on time bomb and one day it will explode. Hulisani Ntsandeni

    • SMG - 2008-02-27 07:46

      I agree with David. You cannot force white and black people to live together, so perhaps UFS needs to re-look that policy if the general student body (incorporating blacks and whites) desire it that way. However, what these kids have done and I call them kids because this is very childish behavior, is absolutely demeaning and degrading. No-one should ever have to go through that, My husband and I were mortified. I sincerely hope justice will be served and not just a slap on the wrist!

    • GM - 2008-02-27 07:47

      This goes to show how we as black people always have to bend over backwards to accommodate whites while they will never see us as equals. Not only was I disgusted at the video but also at the fact that segregation was still allowed at Free State university till only last year? That is 13 yrs into our democracy?

    • Apricot - 2008-02-27 07:47

      but only mirroring what goes on in the hearts and minds of many CURRENTLY disadvantaged people.

    • ben - 2008-02-27 07:49

      I am a white South African, but unfortunately I do not live in Bloemfontein. If I had though, I would have joined the protest march against this blatant racism. Ag nee man UFS, I'm ashamed of you guys! You put us other whiteys in a bad light, we are not all of us racist pigs like you!!

    • ace - 2008-02-27 07:49

      Minister of labour in SA --- what role are you going to play in this sickening incident ? Minister of Education --- WHY ARE WE STILL HAVING INSTITUTIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA WITH RESIDENCES THAT ARE RACIALLY BASED ( UNIVERSITY OF PETORIA, UNIVERSITY OF STELENBOSCH, UNIVERSITY OF FREE STATE) price tag for anyone who can kill those animals (i mean kill) is R20K

    • Jongizizwe Dlabathi - 2008-02-27 07:49

      This is very disturbing and unbelievable that at this point in time we still have young whites with old mentality.Such behaviour should not be accorded a place in South Africa. Families, whites in particular, must at an early stage inculcate the principle of humanity onto their kids by teaching them respect and sense of tolarance irrespective of ones race.The tone must be set by those responsible for grooming so as to ensure that we become a non racial, non sexist and a truly democratic country.

    • T Lawson - 2008-02-27 07:50

      I am never sorry to see South Africans like u leave this country, no matter how skilled u are. Your attitude and others like it will what will keep this country stagnant. I hear the motherland (UK) calling u....bye bye David....!

    • LouisK - 2008-02-27 07:51

      As an Afrikaans speaking person I just want to thank those Reitz "manne" for the easy way in which they have destroyed what so many of us are trying to put together in our country. I watched that video and couldn't stop the tears. Sies Man!! I wish there was a way that we could see what type of parents raise kids like these. Please don't send them to jail, let them suffer the same public humilation that they did to others. Clean the UFS and all the other universities now!!

    • Michael Floyd - 2008-02-27 07:51

      Never in a million years can you force people of different races to mix - it just does not and cannot work! What these guys did fuels the race issue and puts our children at risk - they should be jailed and the key thrown away. But the anger amoungst whites is growing as the senseless murder of white farmers goes on and the government is doing absolutely nothing to stop all violence in this beautiful country.

    • Zenzele Mofokeng - 2008-02-27 07:52

      Imagine seeing your parent humiliated like that live on tv,the more things change,the more they stay the same.

    • martin albert - 2008-02-27 07:52

      Just more proof racism is alive & well in SA. It never ceases to amaze me how apartheid never happened and how one particular group of citizens arrogantly go about their business ignoring our past. However, what I must also express disappointment at is how rasicm is alive and well in all race groups but is ignored by the greater majority of society - the recent example being Mr "Idiot" Khoza & the journalists who referred to others as coconuts. Lets see if the HRC has an balls!

    • Aitog - 2008-02-27 07:53

      why why why?? This is utterly disgusting, and to people rendering a service that these idiots use!! They should be kicked out of campus, they dont deserve being there. This type of things have to stop ASAP from both sides White and Black, if things continue to like this, "black only media conference" and the above crap. How on earth are this beatiful country going to be made a rasially free place, if both parties keep on biting the other side. Forget what has happened in the past, move on !!!

    • sandile - 2008-02-27 07:53

      these fools shall always be fools. enough is enough.please bring my machine guns. i need to sort these fools once and for all.mshini wami mshini. how true that the past has a place in the present

    • TR - 2008-02-27 07:54

      Gosh, this has sickened me. These guys are IDIOTS and NOT representative of how the majority of people handle these kind of situations. Hope they are dealt with swiftly.

    • Jason Nel - 2008-02-27 07:58

      Call it what you want - Intergration, B-BBEE, AA, "Blacks only press conference" - This is Apartheid reversed, the atrocities of the past being commited again under the banner of Unity - HOWEVER to blatantly de-humanise and degrade another person in a manner such as this is unforgivable - NO matter the excuse or circumstance - They must be tried in the Human Rights Court,found guilty and banned from humanity (Jailed) for life, they do not deserve to be called humans, rather BASTARDS!!

    • Godfrey - 2008-02-27 07:58

      It's true that the leopard never change it's spots.Racism is a heart condition,the constitution can never change racists,it is a condition of the heart.there is nothing that u can do about it,except wait for the natural process which is death to rid our society of racists.Racists are what in afrikaans is called'onbeskaafd' that is uncivilised.

    • Becks - 2008-02-27 07:58

      A clear indication that the TRC did nothing but letting certain individuals still feeling that they are more superior than the rest, criminal charges must be pressed!!!

    • baber - 2008-02-27 07:59

      Things like this is embarresment to the Afrikaner nation, our cream of the crop acting like this. It looks like a "revenge" act. Unacceptable

    • Gary - 2008-02-27 08:00

      There is absolutely no compelling justification, which says one human being can abuse another human being. The full extent of the law needs to be brought to bare on the culprits and accomplices of this initiation. With this in mind what is being done about the BJF and the disdaining of it?? Oh sorry Jacob Zuma justifies select racism. The two incidents are comparable and will equally have a devastating effect on SA. NO MORE RACASIM PLEASE