Cabinet lashes out at UFS rector

CABINET has lashed out at University of the Free State rector Jonathan Jansen, expressing "strong displeasure" over his decision to allow four white students facing criminal charges of racism back on to the campus.

CABINET has lashed out at University of the Free State rector Jonathan Jansen, expressing "strong displeasure" over his decision to allow four white students facing criminal charges of racism back on to the campus.

Jansen, pictured, also withdrew the UFS as a complainant in the criminal case against the students.

Government spokesperson Themba Maseko yesterday told a post-cabinet press briefing in Parliament that "the manner in which this matter was handled suggested that the fights of the perpetrators had been given preference over the dignity and rights of the victims".

Maseko said the cabinet fully supported Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande's request that Jansen suspend his decision.

Nzimande wants Jansen to set up wider talks to deal with the matter as well as address racism in general at UFS.

Jansen's decision has become more and more unpopular over the past week. Only the DA and Archbishop Desmond Tutu support Jansen, while Cosatu says it will mobilise for Jansen to be fired.

It has also emerged that while Jansen publicly promised the victimised cleaning staff "reparations" last weekend, he has yet to make them a financial offer.

Nehawu Free State chairperson Montseng Tsiu said that in a meeting between the union (which represents the workers), the victimised workers and their lawyer yesterday, the workers said if the four students came back to campus their lives will be in danger.

But Jansen downplayed their fears, saying the students had learnt their lesson and would not abuse black workers again.

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