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South Africa dorm closed over urine stew video

  • Story Highlights
  • Video surfaced in February showing white students mistreating black workers
  • Workers were served stew laced with urine; video ends with anti-integration slogan
  • University of the Free State says it will close dorm where incident occurred
  • School wants to become "a beacon of hope, combating racism," official says
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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (CNN) -- A South African university said Tuesday it will close the dormitory where white students tricked black workers into tasting stew laced with urine, an incident that sparked protests when revealed earlier this year.

South African students protest in February against a video showing white students mistreating black workers.

The decision by the executive board of the University of the Free State to close the Reitz Residence was unanimous, the school's acting administrator, Teuns Verschoor, said in a written statement.

"The Reitz video reopened racial wounds, and is deeply regretted. It was an isolated manifestation of resistance to the impact of ongoing transformation initiatives at the university," Verschoor said.

"The video and other acts of public violence and vandalism on the campus have undermined the efforts of the university to foster diversity in student and staff life and create an inclusive institutional culture on the campus," the statement said.

The school became the focus of protests in February, after video surfaced of white students at the dormitory urging at least five black housekeepers to eat what appeared to be beef stew in a plastic bowl. Before serving the stew to the housekeepers, the students urinated into the mixture.

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

The university is in the central city of Bloemfontein, about 250 miles south of Johannesburg.

In addition to closing the dormitory, UFS announced it would create a new diversity institute to promote integration efforts in South Africa, which was ruled by its white minority until 1994.

"The university will transform itself over time into a beacon of hope, combating racism and other forms of discrimination in South Africa and elsewhere in the world," Verschoor said.

Two of the students involved in the incident were immediately suspended; the others had already completed their studies at the university.

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