ABWW Haters of the Day: The University of the Free State Four

South African women have to put up with one of the highest rates of rape in the world. On top of that they have to put up with a little “fun” from British and Afrikaans college boys.

“The South African Human Rights Commission has lodged papers with the Bloemfontein Equality Court to seek redress on behalf of the four black female University of Free State workers who were grossly humiliated when four white male students recorded and disseminated an insulting video on them,” the commission said in a statement.

The commission asked the court to order that the students be declared guilty of unfair discrimination by act and omission by making the video and distributing it. The commission also asked that the students apologize to the women, to all black women and to black people in general. The apology should be “unqualified and generous”.

The commission further asked for an order that the students be made to pay jointly general and punitive damages of R1 million to each of the women.The commission asked for an order to the university to present a comprehensive plan to the court, outlining remedial measures to be put in place to support and afford redress to the women, and to prevent such an incident of occurring again.

The commission also asked for remedial measures to eradicate the culture of racial and gender intolerance at the university in general and the Reitz hostel in particular.It asked that, if any of the students were re-admitted to the university, they be sent for diversity and racial integration training.The four former students – RC Malherbe, Johnny Roberts, Schalk van der Merwe and Danie Grobler – are accused of humiliating the staff members in a mock initiation ceremony in 2007, which they filmed.

The video was leaked to the media in February 2008. It showed the women drinking from bottles of beer, racing against each other, eating from a dish, vomiting into buckets, dancing and playing rugby. It also showed one of the four students urinating into a dish that appears to contain food.

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