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Outcry in SA over 'racist'
Several white students in South Africa face criminal charges after
allegedly forcing black campus employees to eat food that had
been urinated on.
A video has surfaced which appears
to show the students instructing five elderly workers to drink
beer and perform athletic tasks.
At one point, the University of Free State employees
are apparently forced to eat food which has been urinated on.
The rector at the university has strongly condemned
Students and staff joined a protest march at
the campus in Bloemfontein, and student groups say they are now
planning to call nationwide anti-racism demonstrations.
The video was reportedly recorded in protest at moves to integrate
black and white students in the same residences at the University
of the Free State.
The BBC's Mpho Lakaje says the university is
known for having predominantly white students since the days of
In recent years it has encountered difficulties
trying to integrate people from other racial groups, and the latest
incident is viewed by many as a clear indication of racial intolerance,
The video shows five black people allegedly being
instructed by a group of white students to down full bottles of
beer, reports our correspondent, who has watched it.
The university workers are then led to a playing field where they
are told to display their athletic skills.
But it is the final extract of the film that
has angered members of the public. It 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.
The alleged perpetrators are current or former
students at the University of the Free State, say reports.
Its rector, Frederick Fourie, told the BBC that
he was "extremely upset about the incident".
"We are having a management meeting. And
there's a strong condemnation of this from everybody concerned,"
The university says it has begun procedures to
suspend the students allegedly implicated in the video, and says
the alleged victims have received psychological support.
On Wednesday, hundreds of black students and workers from the
institution handed over a list of demands to management.
Siviwe Vamva, from the South African Students
Congress, said the group was planning to call a national strike
on Thursday 6 March to raise the profile its anti-racism campaign.
He said racism was also still a problem in other
"It's not only the University of Free State,"
Mr Vamva said.
"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."
The South African Institute of Race Relations
has said this incident and several others over the past month
could threaten general improvements in race relations since the
end of apartheid.
The institute also condemned the shooting of
four black people by a white youth, and the decision by the Forum
for Black Journalists to evict a white journalist from a meeting.