Reitz workers: Our journey from humiliation to hope


THEY’RE smartly dressed in crisp blouses and shirts, their hair pinned and shoes shining. They walk into the boardroom sipping bottled water and chatting, and as they take their seats there’s a knock at the door.

A pretty secretary enters to remind them that their next appointment is a business training course. All five smile and say, “Re itukisitse – we’re ready.”

It’s hard to believe that these are the five workers who in 2007 had their dignity trampled into the ground when four Free State University students filmed them crawling on their hands and knees and eating food laced with urine at the Reitz hostel.

But while their most humiliating moments may have been broadcast around the world, it seems they’ve triumphed in the end – they have forgiven those who betrayed their trust, they no longer work at the university, have received handsome compensation and are directors of their own cleaning company.

Read the article in the Drum of 24 March 2011 – and share your views below.

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