Skip to main content

More students say sorry for demeaning video

  • Story Highlights
  • Video showed white students serving black staff stew seemingly laced with urine
  • Students: We "certainly had no intention of humiliating or degrading the employees"
  • Attorney representing the employees said they are pursuing civil and criminal case
  • University said video was a reaction to efforts to integrate its residences
  • Next Article in World »
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (CNN) -- Two more white students who were seen in a video allegedly mocking black housekeepers and serving them stew seemingly laced with urine apologized Friday, according to their lawyer.

art.saf.protest.afp.gi.jpg

Students protest a racist video on the campus of Free State University in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

Two other former students apologized late Thursday.

The University of Free State identified the last two students, who are no longer at the school, as Danie Grobler and Johnny Roberts.

In a brief statement released by attorney Nico Naude, Grobler and Roberts said they concurred with the apology made Thursday by Roelof Malherbe and Schalk van der Merwe.

There was no other information released Friday by Grobler and Roberts.

Naude represents all four men responsible for the video.

The video sparked an uproar on the campus and among human rights groups in South Africa.

On Thursday, Malherbe and van der Merwe denied they are racists and "most certainly had no intention of humiliating or degrading the employees concerned or black people in general or of detrimentally affecting their dignity."

In their statement, they said they had acted without malicious intent when they participated in the making of the video. They apologized "for any embarrassment which they may unintentionally have caused to any person or group of persons including parents," the statement said.

The video, which surfaced Tuesday, showed four white students putting five black female housekeepers at their university dormitory in Bloemfontein, South Africa through a series of "competitions" in the style of the program "Fear Factor."

One of the scenes shows the women drinking stew that in a previous scene appeared to have been laced with urine.

Naude told CNN the students did not urinate in the food served to the housekeepers, but the video was edited to make it appear they had done so.

The women were also informed that the food was not contaminated, the students said.

The men said the video, which was taped in September, was a "satirical slant on a topic which was then prevalent and controversial." Video Watch tension between black and white students »

They also asserted that the employees who participated in the video did so voluntarily, "knew the purpose for which it was made" and "as is evident ... clearly enjoyed it."

At the end, one of the students awards a large bottle of whiskey to one of the women, telling her she has won the "Fear Factor."

Then a message appears on the screen in Afrikaans saying, "That, at the end of the day, is what we think of integration."

Naude said the video that surfaced Tuesday is actually made up of the out-takes of a montage that won a contest at the dorm last year.

An attorney representing the employees shown in the video told reporters Thursday his clients were tricked into participating. He also told CNN that the cleaning staff is pursuing a civil and criminal case not only against the four but also against the university.

Malherbe and Van der Merwe said they had no intention of humiliating the black employees and were in fact friends with the employees until the video became public, their statement said.

The university denounced the video as a gross violation of human dignity and said Thursday it has officially reported the matter to the director of public prosecution, a statement on its Web site said.

advertisement

The video, which a university statement said showed "black employees ... having to undergo a mock integration ceremony," was a reaction to the university's efforts to integrate its residences, school officials said. Eighteen years after the official end of apartheid, they were still separated into white and black dormitories.

The university is 400 miles south of Johannesburg. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Nkepile Mabuse contributed to this report.

All About South AfricaJohannesburgBloemfontein

  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print