Reverse decision on UFS, says Blade

HUMILIATION: A photo from a DVD made by students showing Free State University cleaners eating meat that had allegedly been urinated on as part of a mock initiation. It is believed the DVD was made to protest against the racial integration of the hostels.
HUMILIATION: A photo from a DVD made by students showing Free State University cleaners eating meat that had allegedly been urinated on as part of a mock initiation. It is believed the DVD was made to protest against the racial integration of the hostels.

UNIVERSITY of the Free State vice-chancellor Jonathan Jansen must suspend his decision to drop a complaint against the Reitz Four, Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande has said.

UNIVERSITY of the Free State vice-chancellor Jonathan Jansen must suspend his decision to drop a complaint against the Reitz Four, Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande has said.

Nzimande rejected Jansen's claim that he had informed his department before withdrawing the university's complaint against the four former students who humiliated workers in a mock initiation.

The minister has also called for Jansen's decision to readmit the four students at the hostel to be reversed.

Nzimande's spokesperson, Ranjeni Munusamy, said Nzimande had called for a suspension of the decision pending institution-wide consultation and that the minister be advised on any action that might need to be taken.

She said the minister had asked for a report by Monday explaining the decision, but had not received it.

"Contrary to what Jansen has said publicly, neither the minister nor any staff member was consulted or informed of this decision before last Friday."

"This decision ... has caused further divisions and opened wounds which are still fresh," Munusamy said.

During his last visit to the institution Nzimande had asked the workers what could be done to help them.

"They made simple requests, including changing their uniforms, and they asked to be moved from the residences since they were still being taunted by some white students."

She said she did not know whether these issues had been dealt with.

Munusamy said a recent probe by the department had found racism to be endemic at SA universities.

"The minister is concerned that the decision to withdraw the complaint threatens to undermine all our efforts to root out racism and all forms of discrimination in higher education," she said.

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