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Video made by a student residence
2008-02-27

Statement by the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof. Frederick Fourie

A video, made by residents of the Reitz men’s residence on the Main Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein, surfaced this morning (Tuesday, 26 February 2008) and was brought to my attention.

The Executive Management (EM) of the UFS condemns this video in the strongest possible terms as a gross violation of the human dignity of the workers involved.

We have immediately started with a most urgent investigation into this matter. The students involved have been identified and we are going to take steps to suspend them.

We are also going to lay criminal charges with the South African Police Service against the students concerned.

I am deeply saddened that students apparently see nothing wrong in producing such an offensive and degrading video. I have publicly said several times that the UFS is not a place for racism.

The UFS does not want such actions and people who indulge in it, on our campus.

The fact that it is openly linked to the integration process in UFS residences is also most disturbing.

I want to apologise to our colleagues who were unwittingly involved in this video and to the broader South African public.

Our staff unions Nehawu and Uvpersu have also condemned this incident.

The university is going through a difficult time with its efforts to racially integrate its residences and to create a new residence culture based on diversity, respect, human dignity and human rights.

These kinds of actions make it all the more important that we succeed with establishing such a new institutional culture on the campus.

I appeal to all staff and students to remain calm and to act in the best interests of the university.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
26 February 2008

 

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