Victims willing participants, DA

Simon Nare

Simon Nare

The Democratic Alliance in Free State has described the victims in the video made by students at the University of Free State (UFS) as "willing participants".

The party's spokesman, Liana van Wyk, said that though it was humiliating, the black members of staff shown in the video "looked like they were willing participants".

She, however, added that the participants were obviously duped into participating in the making of the racist video. The video was made in protest against the university's move to integrate its residences.

Made by four white students, the video shows that the black staffers were first given alcohol before being made to run around the sports field. They are then made to crawl on their knees before eating meat that has been urinated on.

Van Wyk has also described the video as humiliating and shocking.

DA national leader Helen Zille has called on the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to investigate the incident. She said the investigation should be broadened to deal with all institutions still grappling with racial integration.

The SAHRC in Free State said it would investigate whether the university had played a role in encouraging the violations.

The SA Democratic Teachers Union has called for an official inquiry into racism at the university.

"The SA Democratic Teachers Union is appalled at the revelations of racism and abuse taking place at the University of Free State," Sadtu said in a statement.

It also called on Education Minister Naledi Pandor to conduct an official inquiry into this specific incident and "more importantly into conditions prevailing at the university which allowed this kind of activity to take place".

Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille condemned the video and commended the university for taking "swift action" against those involved in its making.

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa said such an attack on the dignity of fellow South Africans had "no place in our democracy".

AfriForum, the civil rights initiative linked to Solidarity, also strongly condemned the incident.

"The students' actions are inexcusable," said chief executive Kallie Kriel.

Freedom Front Plus youth leader Cornelius Janse van Rensburg said his party would never condone nor justify the violation of the dignity of any human being.

The ANC Youth League called for tough action to be taken against the students involved.

"This barbaric act does not only denigrate and dehumanise those workers, but is the tip of an iceberg of what workers experience daily at the hands of racists who can't differentiate between a dog, baboon and a human being," it said.

The ANCYL said the UFS had become "a haven of barbaric acts of racism" and urged management to demonstrate its commitment to building a nonracial society.