White students plead guilty in racism video case

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 00:32

Bloemfontein: Four white former students pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges surrounding a video they made humiliating black university employees in a
case prompting bitter protests that racism remains entrenched
in South Africa more than a decade after the end of racist
white rule.

The men pleaded guilty to charges of illegally and
deliberately injuring another person`s dignity. The video
showed the employees being forced to consume food and drinks
that appeared to be tainted with urine. The students later
described it instead as a "harmless" liquid.

The court accepted the guilty plea and adjourned to
Wednesday for closing arguments from attorneys on sentencing
that is unlikely to include imprisonment.

The video, which was shot in 2007 at the University of
the Free State some 400 kilometres southwest of Johannesburg,
used the university employees to re-enact the initiation
rights normally given to students trying to get into the
residence hall. The employees included four middle-aged women
and one man.

After the video first emerged in 2008, police dispersed
stone-throwing students on the sprawling campus and classes
were cancelled.

PTI




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