'Probe black racism at UFS'

2008-03-04 18:08

Johannesburg - AfriForum has asked the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) officially to investigate alleged racist threats by protesting black students against their white counterparts at the University of the Free State (UFS), it said on Tuesday.

AfriForum claimed that white students were driven from the campus in a protest on Wednesday.

Warning "all white people" to leave the campus, the black students allegedly threatened that all white "bitches" would be raped and all white farmers killed.

The threats were a reaction to a video showing students at the Reitz residence forcing workers to eat food allegedly contaminated with urine, said AfriForum chief executive Kallie Kriel.

It was "disconcerting" that while everyone agreed the Reitz video was unacceptable, the SAHRC, UFS management and other groups were silent about the threats aimed at whites, he said.

This created the impression that racism against whites was acceptable and did not have to be condemned with the same fervour as racism against blacks.

'All racism must be opposed'

He said: "Selective morality" about the racism at the UFS and elsewhere in the country proved that some people were exploiting unacceptable events to advance their own political agendas and racial polarisation.

Kriel said all incidents of racism, irrespective of whether they involved blacks or whites, had to be opposed.

Unless this happened, there would be a spiral of racism which would increasingly alienate groups from each other.

AfriForum called on all communities to remain calm and to think clear-headedly about the way ahead, he said.

It believed that instead of not talking to each other, as was presently the case, there should be joint consultations between student leaders, student residence management and UFS management to curb any more tension on the campus.