The United Democratic Women’s Organisation said though it has noted that the so-called Reitz Four has been sentenced a R20,000 fine each or twelve months imprisonment, it is not happy with the sentence.
“Although we are happy that these human injustices were scrutinised by our justice system, we believe that this is merely a slap on the wrist in terms of extent of the humiliation their victims suffered; especially the women,”said Mrs Thandi Nontenja a member of UDEMWO National Executive Committee (NEC.
“We hope that this sentencing sends a strong message to our youth that they must respect their elders and especially women.”
The four former University of Free State students known as the “Reitz Four” were sentenced to a R20, 000 fine each or 12 months imprisonment in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s court.
RC Malherbe, Johnny Roberts, Schalk van der Merwe and Danie Grobler on Tuesday pleaded guilty to a charge of crimen injuria.
The charges relate to their humiliating five black workers in an initiation-type ceremony in 2007, which they filmed while living at the University of the Free State’s now-closed Reitz men’s residence.
The defence counsel of the former students asked the court after sentencing for a deferred fine order.
Counsel Christo Dippenaar asked the court if the students could pay off the fine over a certain period.
The court adjourned so that the State and defence could consult.