Johannesburg - The SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) has lodged a complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission over a Facebook post justifying the Holocaust, the group said on Wednesday.
This was after Rene Smit, an African National Congress volunteer in the Western Cape, posted a picture of Adolf Hitler with the words “Yes, man, you were right... I could have killed all the Jews, but I left some of them to let you know why I was killing them,” on her personal Facebook page.
The post was subsequently removed.
“The message conveyed by the post was that the nature of Jewish people everywhere is so intrinsically evil as to have justified the murder of six million Jews at the hands of the Nazis,” SAJBD chairwoman Mary Kluk said in a statement.
“Freedom of expression is an important democratic value but it cannot be allowed to take the form of hateful rhetoric against others, whether on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity or any other such grounds.”
The SAHRC confirmed it had received the SAJBD's complaint.
“The commission saw the post on twitter, with people calling on the commission to act on it,” spokesman Isaac Mangena said.
“At this stage we can only state that... it will go through screening processes as part of the commission's complaint-handling procedures.”
The ANC in the Western Cape distanced itself from Smit and her Facebook post.
“Rene Smit is not an employee, official or manager of the ANC as is claimed by the DA,” spokesman Cobus Grobler said.
“She is not even an ANC member, but a supporter that voluntarily does a lot of humanitarian work.”
The Democratic Alliance on Tuesday condemned Smit's post and referred to her as an ANC media official.
The opposition party called on the ruling party to distance itself from the remarks and disciplinary action.
Grobler said the ANC did not support Smit's post.
“The post is not remotely representative of the ANC’s known stance on the conflict in Palestine and Israel,” he said.
Attempts to contact Smit were unsuccessful.