FORMER president Nelson Mandela once said, "for, to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others".
The squabbles at the University of the Free State, caused by vice-chancellor Jonathan Jansen, have proved without a doubt that the university is still infested with racism.
The university has a history of having a racially biased mind-set. The populist reconciliation stunt pulled by Jansen isunfortunate.
Instead, the "nutty professor" pronouncements spur on the spirit of separatism. If the decision is reconciliatory, then why is he not changing his tune since he can see that his objectives are not beingmet.
The four racist protagonists are the perpetrators here, while the five black workers are victims.
They were made pawns and objects of ridicule in the game of racism. Not only their dignity was hauled through the mud, but their health was also put at risk. Who knows? They might have defecated or spat on the food with diarrhea and tuberculosis contaminations.
The Democratic Alliance has shown its pro-white stance in endorsing Jansen's decision. It saw it as its responsibility to take ANC Youth League chairperson Thebe Meeko to court for hate speech.
They quickly accepted Jansen's decision and lame excuse, but have done nothing for the black victims.
The punishment for the Reitz Four should, on top of a prison sentence, include community service in a black society. You cannot change someone, but you can inspire people to greatness; so goes the saying.
Kgothatso Mphuthi, Heilbron