Outcry over woman praising Holocaust

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Associated Press

File photo: Matt Rourke

Cape Town - A woman who apparently claimed to be an ANC social media manager is drawing criticism for a Facebook posting lauding Hitler’s genocide against the Jews.

Rene Smit volunteered for an ANC campaign but has no official affiliation with the party, ANC Western Cape spokesman Cobus Grobler said.

She posted a message on her personal Facebook account displaying an image of Hitler with the title: “Yes man, you were right,” followed by: “I could have killed all the Jews, but I left some of them to let you know why I was killing them.” At the bottom of the image was the message, “Share this picture to tell the truth a whole world.”

On Tuesday, DA national spokesman Marius Redelinghuys said the party strongly condemned this “anti-Semitic hate speech” and called on the ANC to distance itself from the remarks and take the appropriate disciplinary action.

“The post is not only anti-Semitic and hate speech, but can also be construed as an incitement to violence and is an insensitive insult to victims and survivors of the Holocaust,” the DA’s statement said.

Smit has since deleted the post.

The DA called on Smit and the ANC to “apologise unconditionally for these remarks that make light of a great human tragedy”.

“Such discriminatory, hateful and divisive remarks have no place in our constitutional democracy and is starkly at odds with our Bill of Rights,” the DA said.

The SA Jewish Board of Deputies said it had written to ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe on the matter and also for “the very offensive Holocaust remarks made by Ms Jesse Duarte in an ANC statement last week”.

Grobler said Smit was a volunteer during the May general elections and called the post “unfortunate”.

“We don’t condone it,” he told the Cape Argus. “It’s not an ANC position or stance on Palestine or Israel.”

Grobler said the ANC has asked for the ceasing of hostilities and “disproportionate violence”.

“The victims are clear - the babies and women are Palestinian.

“Clearly there’s a problem. But we don’t condone any anti-Semitic sentiment,” he said.

He pointed out the post was on Smit’s own page and denied any ANC affiliation with the photograph.

He said the DA statement misidentified Smit as an “ANC Western Cape media official” and “ANC staffer”.

“The DA is quick to make petty politics of its fabricated deceits and strongly come out in support of Israel, but weak on the issue of the killing of a disproportional number of Palestinian babies and women in the Gaza Strip,” Grobler said.

Smit had done “a good job with humanitarian work”, he said, and commended her for deleting the post.

Smit did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

anne.steele@inl.co.za

Cape Argus


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