End of the road for Reitz hostel

The University of the Free State residence where a racist video degrading black workers was filmed earlier this year will be closed down on Wednesday, a spokesperson said.

”The Reitz male hostel at the University of the Free State (UFS) will be formally closed today, Wednesday,” Lacea Loader said.

Students at the hostel have been relocated, she said.

The home-made video, filmed by students of the former whites-only hostel in Bloemfontein, caused outrage when it was leaked in February.

Four students filmed the video, which shows five black workers taking part in a number of initiation-like rituals, including going down on their knees and eating meat a student appeared to have urinated on.

The home-made film ended with the words: ”That, at the end of the day, is what we think of integration.”

The film cast a spotlight on racism in the ”Rainbow Nation” 14 years after the fall of whites-only apartheid rule.

”The hostel will be converted into an institute-for-diversity centre, which will address issues of racism, sexism, xenophobia and reconciliation,” said Loader.

The institute, which will open in 2010, will focus on ”research and development of diversity and transformation programmes in all aspects of society, locally and globally”, she said. — AFP



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