UFS reopens consultation process

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pretoria - The University of the Free State (UFS) on Wednesday re-opened a consultation process regarding the re-admission of four students who allegedly abused cleaners.

The university's Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jonathan Jansen, announced recently that he would re-admit the four students to the university and withdraw the compliant against them.

Jansen has, however, maintained that the criminal charges by the Directorate of Special Prosecutions in the province and the human rights charges by the Human Rights Commission would still stand.

The four students are faced with charges of crimen injuria. They appeared before court on Monday, and their case was postponed to February next year.

The university made headlines when a racist video, which was initially aimed at protesting against the university's integration policy, surfaced earlier this year showing four students from the Reitz hostel degrading five cleaners.

The cleaners were allegedly forced to eat food laced in urine and participate in activities such as playing rugby.

The institutions' media liaison officer, Lacea Loader, said the first meeting took place with Advocate Mothusi Lepheana of the Human Rights Commission on behalf of the five workers at their main campus in Bloemfontein.

According to Loader, Lepheana is representing the five workers, as ruled by the court on Monday.

"During this discussion it was agreed that further processes on the way forward will be announced shortly after the Human Rights Commission has completed its work regarding certain legal issues within the case," said Loader.

Meetings with other stakeholders, including staff and students, will be taking place on an ongoing basis.-