The leaked video of a mock initiation in which four white male students from the University of the Free State’s Reitz Kamerwonings apparently urinated in food given to a group of black, predominantly female, cleaning staff members dominated the news agenda this week.
Several editorials were devoted to the matter with the Sunday paper Rapport condemning the incident in a href=”http://www.news24.com/Rapport/Nuus/0,,752-795_2280617,00.html” target=_blank mce_href=”http://www.news24.com/Rapport/Nuus/0,,752-795_2280617,00.html”front-page editorial.
The Times editor Ray Hartley devoted a blog entry to his paper’s decision to publish the photographs of the “filmmakers” with the accompanying headline, “Here they are: The four repugnant bastards”.
“One senior editor cautioned that this could be seen as ‘sinking to their level’ and that we should go for a straighter line.R
“But we stuck with bastards because of the extreme nature of their racism and the fact that it was captured on tape with a view to airing it in public with pride.R
“We did not go too far. We used the words on our readers’ lips,” he said.
The paper posted the video on its website, as did other publications, including Die Burger (a shortened version).
Several versions of the video, which had apparently been stored on a student intranet before the leak, have since been posted on YouTube.
To view an edited version of the video posted as “College thugs in the New South Africa”, one has to be at least 18 years old. This version has been viewed more than 18,200 times.
A version posted as “Racist South African students trick black cleaners” had more than 20,800 views. The video “The ‘RACIST’ University video South Africa!! Full Un-edited” had over 12,500.
On Facebook groups such as “Punish those Reitz Afrikaner dogs” and “I hate the Reitz hostel initiation video” have been established.
Meanwhile, one of the students’ fathers said the media violated their rights by publishing photographs of them before a disciplinary hearing had taken place, Pretoria News reported.
The South African Editors’ Forum (Sanef) in a statement condemned the assault on Drum journalist Themba Makamo in Bloemfontein. Makamo was headbutted, kicked and punched in a suspected racist attack. He was in the Free State capital to cover the Reitz story at the time of the attack.
Jurie Els wants the courts to send Huisgenoot/You editor EsmarÃƒÂ© Weideman and Huisgenoot‘s Gauteng editor, Izelle Venter, to jail, according to Beeld. The Afrikaans singer earlier obtained an interim interdict against Media24 and Venter that prohibited the publication of a story in which singer Robbie Klay alleged he (Klay) had been sexually abused for years. Huisgenoot/You, nevertheless, went ahead with the publication of a “sanitised” version of the article. Els last week approached the Cape High Court for an order that would find Weideman, Venter and Media24 in contempt of court. He wants the court to fine Media24, the owners of Huisgenoot/You.
Acting Judge TM Makgoka granted a punitive cost order against Vodacom in the Pretoria High Court, The Citizen reported. In addition, the court ordered the cellphone operator to provide information to Cape Town businessman David Morris of Vodacom’s investigation into how a third party obtained access to Morris’s cellphone accounts. He asked for the information last year to take legal action against the harasser who had obtained access to his accounts, but Vodacom refused to provide it.
Tokyo Sexwale’s Mvela has its eye on exerting “significant strategic influence” on Avusa through the expected appointment of three directors to the Avusa board, according to Business Times. Mvela is acquiring 25.5% of Avusa from Allan Gray Fund Managers.
Communications minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri said treasury was to blame for signal carrier Sentech’s struggle to deliver. Business Day reported Sentech was R300-million short on the budget needed to upgrade the network to deal with the switchover to digital broadcasting; it needed R917-million for the period in which analogue and digital signals would be broadcast simultaneously and R3.1-billion to build a wireless network, of which it had received R500-million.
See “Related Links” below to read more media stories of the past week.