'We trusted these children'

2008-02-28 22:59

Bloemfontein - The cleaners involved in the racist video made at the University of the Free State (UFS) said on Thursday they had not realised what they were participating in.

A lawyer addressed the media on behalf of the four women, who were all present.

Lesley Mokgoro of the firm of attorneys Phatshoane Henney said his clients had been misled into thinking the video was being shot for a competition and that it was being done in a good spirit.

They saw the video last year, but it was a completely different version from the one that was now causing the uproar.

Mokgoro was speaking on behalf of the cleaners, who appeared shy and confused by all the media attention as they sat in the council chamber on the UFS campus.

"What happened is still very fresh and still very hurtful. It is, therefore, difficult for the cleaners to answer all the questions comprehensively," said Mokgoro.

An interpreter translated the questions that the cleaners were prepared to answer and the answers they gave.

Hadn't thought it strange The cleaners indicated that they knew the students in the Reitz residence very well and that the students and cleaners were quite used to one another.

They hadn't thought it at all strange to take part in the competition. However, now that they knew what the video had been used for, they felt hurt.

"We trusted these children, but that trust was completely broken," they said through the interpreter.

The interpreter also told journalists that the word "skwiza" - which the students used to refer to the cleaners - means "your brother's wife or girlfriend".

  • One of the "journalists" at the news conference had to leave the venue when it became known that he was a student and not an employee of any news publication.

    He had repeatedly asked whether the cleaners wanted the Reitz residence to close, and why the whole residence should be punished and not only the four students responsible for shooting the video.

    One of the cleaners' representatives jumped up and shouted: "Are you in Reitz?"

    The "journalist" denied it and said he was from another residence and had come to take pictures purely for his own records.

    However, the representative maintained that he recognised the "journalist" and was sure he was a Reitz resident.

    An opportunity was then given to anyone not employed by a news publication to leave the news conference.

    The "journalist" left.

    • Evil media - 2008-02-28 23:58

      u may commit fraud u may steal u may enforce BEE u may rape u may kill u may not make home videos

    • oj - 2008-02-29 00:53

      it is so hurting to see white young people of this country behaving in this manner.If they had a message to send to the government of the day,they should engage the government directly.Ours will be a good country if white citizens can know they have a role to play to address the legacy of apartheid and uphold the constitution of the country they live in and if they can`t should leave to a country they will respect.white parents must tell their kids they were brought up by blacks

    • Wayne - 2008-02-29 00:55

      This stinks of double standards. Its blown completely out of proportion. There are people being slaughtered every single day by ruthless racist criminals. Nothing is said or done. No-one was murdered! There are black adults performing initiation circumcism rituals on young boys leaving them scarred for life. Why are people going crazy over this and not the loss of human life to heartless racist criminals? BECAUSE this incident is being used by corrupt politicians to discredit whites!

    • Johann Schröder - 2008-02-29 01:21

      Treating fellow human beings with contempt is unacceptable, regardless of any racial considerations. That this was done by young people at an institution of higher learning (i.e. future leaders of the community) makes it all the more reprehensible.

    • Peet Van Jaarsveld - 2008-02-29 04:03

      Well as young afrikaans boy, I don,t see why every body is making such a big deal out of this every body knows how we feel about mixing races, "LEAVE THINGS AS IT IS AND EVERY BODY WILL BE HAPPY"

    • Ruan - 2008-02-29 06:24

      Strange how noone called the BJF racist... Hypocrites... News24 is biased.

    • Amazed - 2008-02-29 06:53

      When there is no whites left to blame something on, blacks will probably start blaming the sun and the moon for their past.. The day that BLACK people start seeing themselves as normal people, all this nonsense will stop. This kind of thing happens all the time!! Stop seeing it as white doing it to black and gone will be all the controvercy..

    • Wondering - 2008-02-29 07:15


    • Curious - 2008-02-29 07:19

      Maybe the cleaners will be awarded a nice big settlement & they can completely forget about this. Where their own nature would be to put these students in an environment where they will be sexually assaulted, purely for the fact that this is highly publicized. I would however say that it was an initiation procedure dubbed fear factor...........and they agreed & willing participated.

    • Black Woman - 2008-02-29 07:34

      As the healing Nation, it's time we stopped generally attacking everyone for the sick behaviours of the few. People should individually account for their acts. I would hate for anyone to accuse me for something that had nothing to do with me just because it was done by somebody of my skin colour. Let's spread love and jointly root out idiots that are obstructing racial intergration.

    • Wandile Mazibuko - 2008-02-29 07:37

      It's truly shocking that such atrocities are still taking place in the country; especially in an institution for higher learning. The video is an utter degrodation of our Constitution and the values it embodies, and those boys should feel the full force of the law.

    • James - 2008-02-29 07:46

      It's amazing how politicians and lawyers can make the biggest storm in the smallest tea cup. Do not judge unless you are willing to be judged. These boys have done wrong to the staff, but its not up to the media to try them. But then after all sensation sells newspapers.

    • Anne - 2008-02-29 07:52

      I am horrified at what these four boys got up to with this video and in this country and this day and age they should have known better. However, why should the whole "white" population be tarred with the same brush? We are not all act alike or think alike, just like all blacks, colours and indians are not all alike and don't think alike. Punish the four perpatrators but leave the rest of the white population alone. What kind of message are we sending to the rest of the world?

    • tk - 2008-02-29 08:01

      These guys don't look friendly at all.......

    • Mary-Anne - 2008-02-29 08:02

      My my.What another xciting day 4 journalism and S.A. history.Another racial crime to thrive upon 2 boost u'r non-existing careers.Tell u something.RACISM,is still very ALIVE,worldwide.Shocked?Anyway.The students ,if done intentionaly,let'em get whatever is coming and deserve 2 get.If not ,hell what,let's crusify them anyway cos we r better at that rather then knowing the facts,then comment.Worry about the rapist-killer thats stalking u'r 5jo now.DUH!Enjoy u'r "lives". MARY.

    • Mike Floyd - 2008-02-29 08:08

      The Australian comment in yesterdays column should be ignored - for what they are doing to their beloved Abbo's is worse than the whole Apartheid saga. Enough said from that end. What the students did is only fueling the race issue. Let's all just admit that racialism is prevalent all around the world and will never be abolished! We just need to move on by making an example of these students - for our beautiful and beloved S.A.

    • ockert - 2008-02-29 08:11

      "Wat jy saai gaan jy maai" - that is what the 4 thugs can expect when they do the jail time that is coming to them. I am sure there will be enough warders with fluids to accomodate their thirst, and enough big guys to sort these guys out for the insult to their mothers. Go to university and study stop scewing around !

    • Fikile Mbalula - 2008-02-29 08:12

      Yeah, we blundered by reconciliation, transformation should have been the key. I remember being refused entry to Tuks and RAU by the virtue of my Afrikaans being F on High Grade. Yes, Afrikaans is not my home language, and it does fokol to me at the moment at the work place. This clearly shows to the DA why affirmative action should remain in place until the Afrikaners have transformed themselves. They always argue that post 1994 kids have nothing to do with the past. Long live Peter Mokaba!!!

    • Lindsay Meyer - 2008-02-29 08:14

      What a laugh, people making such a fuss about this video. If the cleaners were white then this would not even raise an eyebrow.

    • The fisherman - 2008-02-29 08:18

      sensationalism. Always making a mountain out of a mole hill. This is Africa, things happen daily that are a million time worse but without the media htpe. Get over yourselves.

    • CHARLES - 2008-02-29 08:33

      what the 4 had done is totally wrong and for that they must be punished , but why must the rest of the campus get punished by barbaric element's that threaten other students and vandalise. let the law go its way , they must get punished with them.

    • Cindy M - 2008-02-29 08:34

      I can understand it when students initiate other students.. But WHY the hell were they initiating the CLEANERS??!?! There was no need for that, no need at all!

    • Andile - 2008-02-29 08:34

      I hope the "justice" of this country is not going to send these student to phsycological clinic to check their brain.I think they need to be punished and be a lesson to other students.These boys are evil!!!

    • Buhle Mbonambi - 2008-02-29 08:36

      Y guys, Y? what is the world going to say? you guys just embarrassed your families, your varsity, yourselves and most impotantly, us students who are THE Mandela generation. Come On People.

    • Zinzisile - 2008-02-29 08:36

      I think thats why Dr. Khoza called another black person with the "K" word. One of the staffers is 60 yrs old, she must has raised children who by now are older than those young bastards, and in her culture as a black person a child will never give orders to an elder, was she giving respect to these young bastards just because they are white boys. Working for more 20yrs for the university they must have known better about their rights as workers. Never trust a white man unless he is a communist

    • Herman - 2008-02-29 08:36

      As a white South African I am very dissapointed in these guys. Unfortunately there will be always racial tensions, that is a fact, but to do this type of things is total disregard of other humans. Don`t go and look for trouble like this. Utterly dissapointing is all I can say. You guys must get what you deserve, don`t do onto others what you don`t whant to be done on yourself.SIS MAN

    • white south african - 2008-02-29 09:05

      I cannot wait to hear from mr Qwelane on sunday, the four boys have just opened a can of worms.good reading on monday

    • Eric Makouana - 2008-02-29 09:10

      I think we should treat this issue with a lot of maturity. We can not undo the past but we can only learn from it. South african must accept each other to better the blessed of contry of the Khumalo, Van der Walt,Mokoena... If we all knew how blessed is this country we should not seeing such barbaric act.

    • Spin Doctor - 2008-02-29 09:35

      Focus on the real issues on campus - why was there a riot 10 days ago? Do we have an election next year? Has the electricity crisis been solved? Is our water fit for human consumption? What is the government doing about our roads, rail and harbour infrastructure? Do we have crime under control? How will we improve our matric results? etc,etc,etc,

    • NP - 2008-02-29 09:38

      I am astonished by the media attention! How come this is such a big story, but daily rapes & murders not? People please focus on what matters! What these boys did are wrong, it added fuel to the fire, but surely SA has MUCH MORE problems that need our attention. I agree with Mike, I don't think the racism issues will ever vanish! Be real! Cultures differ - they always will!! It doesn't mean they "hate" each other, it just means that forced integration will not work! Different interests!!!

    • baker - 2008-02-29 09:41

      Why are the residences still segregated in this day and age? Desegregate the resses, allocate people rooms randomly, and the minute someone causes k@k, expel them. Any complaints will go away very quickly. Segregated residences are racist constructs that perpetuate the system and does no-one any favours - and I can't believe UFS still condone the practice.

    • Kgomotso - 2008-02-29 09:44

      Its funny how no one asks the jews whats the fuss and how after all these years people still make a big deal about the holocaust but yet when it comes to the crimes of the white minotiry in this country they are all too eager to sweep it under the rug, whats the fuss is that hwile some white people have gone to soewto they have not gone to the really bad areas where a majority of black people are still suffering because of these past crimes.

    • NP - 2008-02-29 09:45

      I read the article on whites being assualted and threatened, this is so ridiculous! Why should all white people face the problem now when four idiotic boys ignited the flame? They are threatened being raped and "bombed" in the hostils!!!! It is really a JOKE how all white people are affected by this. It actually links to stupidity! The whole story has become out of control! Focus on the murders and the rapes!!! What REALLY happended to these workers? Where they murdered? Where they raped??

    • Lee - 2008-02-29 09:52

      What these boys did was unacceptable! BUT why is there always so much media attention when the culprits are white? It was the same thing when a white boy, Johan Nel, killed 4 black people including a 3 month old baby. There is never any media coverage on white people being raped, murdered or mistreated by black people. Why is that? It's because the buch of racists controlling our country is controlling the media too.

    • Strangely Aware - 2008-02-29 09:59

      This comment was posted on news 24 yesterday: "the jokes on you silly white boy. You think Mugabe is a fool (think again)It is one way of getting revenge against the whites (it is called a secret agenda)If Whites were thrown out from SA, the white world would react silly. Squeeze them slowly, raping, murdering them one by one, until 90% is on board to Perth. - simunye grooves" How can this be posted???? To Simunye: Believe me, with all whites in Perth, SA will FALL! And you wine about urine?!

    • Kedibone Sehume - 2008-02-29 10:00

      I have been reading the papers about the UFS Reitz Residence story, everytime I read about this story I have to fight back so much anger and tears.Their parents play an important role in their lives, children learn what they live therefore the parents should think about the role they have played in these boys lives and how this evil act came about!

    • chris - 2008-02-29 10:04

      Something smell fishy here.Four adult people 14 years in ANC ruling allow them selfs to be treated like this.And they say the video they saw wsa diffirent.means someone changed it????

    • Liya - 2008-02-29 10:10

      Incidents such as the UFS Video should NOT go unnoticed. Racism is alive and well in South Africa!Racism should not be ignored anymore!I wish these boys to be shot and stoned in a public gallery! The arrogance and perverted atitude towards people of a different race dat they displayed 14years after democracy isnot an isolated indication of de Afrikaner race's atitude towards 'dark' skinned ppl.4 those who experienced Apartheid,this brings a torrent of unwashed feelings from the past

    • Janine - 2008-02-29 10:10

      It's a shame to see such ignorance and disrespect in our society. The reality is it still exists especially from those that remain to live in the past. I am embarrassed for their sake. The rest of the students and individuals must suffer due to a lack of acceptance and respect. Embarrassed White South African.

    • anonymous - 2008-02-29 10:26

      it is important that this be dealt with in a effective manner such as to nip the situation in the bud. these children constitute the future leaders of our country and they will one ay have children of their own. if it is not explained to them (and to the community at large) why what they did was wrong, we could find ourselves in a perpertual cycle of this sort of behaviour, whether by whites or by blacks. either way, this behaviour is wrong and should be dealt with accordingly

    • Anon - 2008-02-29 11:09

      This whole "racist video" has been blown out of proportion!!! If you view the video carefully you will see the boy taking a bottle, like an Energade bottle or likewise, out of his pocket, pretending to piss in the food!!! You can even hear him open the lid of the bottle!!! Even when he's showing the viewers the food, you can see that there's a bottle in his left pocket. Open your eyes!!!! Stop wasting our time and money on shit like this!!!

    • Stander - 2008-02-29 11:31

      Firstly , I do not agree what these 4 white kids did BUT why is it that africans are always victims . I dont see anybody holding a gun against their heads! Its about time african people in this country stand up for themselfs. Why are the media still entertaining this. What if this situation was the other way round?????Would it get the same media hype? I DONT THINK SO!!! What about the sensless killing of whites every day? SA need to sort itself out or civil is waiting!!!!

    • meme - 2008-02-29 11:53

      Since When do Black Grown Women play with children? I bet they donot play soccer with their own kids ,or ist because they are white well they learnt a lesson that Klein bass did not fall far from the tree

    • black conscience - 2008-02-29 12:32

      i really cannot fathom the irony of one perpetrators father Mr Roberts and other white folks trying to play this outcry as just a way of making fun,that make me wonder what would happen if four black learners will do this to an four elderly white people - will they see this as a joke as well - racism or not what these two punks was extremely wrong - u don't treat any elderly folks like that it doesn't matter the colour of the skin - it really shows how Black people are treated in Hertzogville

    • MP4 - 2008-02-29 12:40

      South Africa we love you, our beautiful land, Lets show the whole world, We can bring peace in our land.

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