UFS racist duo expelled, facing attempted murder charges

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The University of the Free State.

BLOEMFONTEIN - The two white men who instigated a racial attack on Damani Gwebu at the University of the Free State on Monday appeared in the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court on Thursday.

Kobus Muller and Charl Blom face charges of reckless driving, assault and attempted murder in an incident that has caused an outcry on campus and on social networks.

 

Gwebu, a fifth-year B-Com student, was nearly hit by a bakkie that veered onto a pavement in front of him.

After following the bakkie to its destination on campus, he was beaten and later taken to hospital as a result of his injuries.

Witnesses claim they heard the students in the bakkie yelling racial insults at him.

"There are certain ladies who testified that they heard them saying the k-word when they bumped on me," he said. "The driver started beating me up and the other guy came around the car and held my hands. And the driver was continuing moering up my face."

The Student Representative Council is concerned that this latest incident, which may have a racial element, is being swept under the carpet.

SRC president Phiwe Mathe said: "The transformation project of the University of the Free State is under threat. Whatever movement we&39;ve tried to make forward has been backtracked by such events. And that is why we as an SRC say the transformation is not moving forward. It&39;s limping!"

 

In 2008 white students made black cleaning staff take part in a humiliating mock-initiation ritual. 

Residences became fully integrated in 2010, something a number of white students had resisted.

Concerns about racism at UFS continue despite transformation policies put in place by Rector Jonathan Jansen.

The two students have now been expelled from the university with immediate effect in what the university said were "acts of serious misconduct and on the grounds that they constitute a threat to the safety of our student community".

They have been released from custody but will be in court again on April 9.