Thursday, February 28, 2008


The alleged victims vomited after being made to eat fouled food.
A video showing white students bullying black staff members was "no more than play-acting" according to a lawyer's letter, South African media report.
The video shows white students at the University of Free State allegedly forcing black employees to eat food that had been urinated on.
It sparked widespread condemnation and students and staff held an anti-racism march at the campus in Bloemfontein.
Two students have been suspended from campus and could face criminal charges.
But according to Volksblad newspaper, lawyers for the two students deny that they committed any criminal actions.

The most controversial extract of the film shows a white male urinating on food, and then - shouting: "Take! Take!" in Afrikaans - apparently forcing the campus employees to eat the dirty food, and causing them to vomit.
He did not urinate in the food, but opened a bottle of water and poured that into the bowl
Pieter Odendaal, head studentThe video also shows the two students and two former students instructing five black workers to drink beer and perform athletic tasks.
The video has caused strong condemnation from the university and from human rights groups.
The South African Human Rights Commission is investigating the incident and other incidents of alleged racism at the university.
However, some students have reportedly said the student did not actually urinated on the food.

Staff and students held anti-racism protests at the campus"He did not urinate in the food, but opened a bottle of water and poured that into the bowl," said Pieter Odendaal, the head student at the university residence, quoted by The Pretoria News.
The university is known for having predominantly white students since the days of apartheid and in recent years it has encountered difficulties trying to integrate people from other racial groups, reports the BBC's Mpho Lakaje.
The video was reportedly recorded several months ago in protest at moves to integrate black and white students in the same residences.

The university rector, Frederick Fourie, told the BBC he was "extremely upset about the incident".
The black staff members have been given time off and have been offered counselling, the university said.
Siviwe Vamva, from the South African Students Congress, said the group was planning to call a national strike on 6 March to highlight its anti-racism campaign.
He said racism was also still a problem in other universities.
"We are saying that all these issues must be brought forward so that all the people of South Africa can see that racism is still a dominant feature in South African society," he said.
The South African Institute of Race Relations has also expressed concern and said this incident and several others over the past month could threaten improvements in race relations since the end of apartheid.
Frans Cronje, the deputy chief executive officer at the institute, referred to the shooting of four black people by a white youth in the north-west of the country.
The institute also condemned a recent decision by the Forum for Black Journalists to evict a white journalist from a meeting with Jacob Zuma, the newly elected president of the ruling African National Congress.



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