On Sunday, a video of a man wearing a swastika armband while eating in a Wimpy restaurant in Bloemfontein quickly started trending on Twitter. Picture: Screengrab

Cape Town - On Sunday, a video of a man wearing a swastika armband while eating his meal in a Wimpy restaurant in Bloemfontein quickly started trending on Twitter.

In two videos posted to social media, @kanyamofokeng posted a man with a swastika armband as he was eating his meal in Fleurdal Mall, while in the second video, she posted the clip of a swastika flag being flown on the outskirts of Bloemfontein.

The swastika became infamous as it was popularised by Adolf Hitler's National Socialist German Workers' Party, or more commonly called Nazi Party, leading up to World War II. 

The swastika, usually clockwise, is a geometrical figure and an ancient religious icon in the cultures of Eurasia. It is used as a symbol of divinity and spirituality in Indian religions. It was used in many different cultures for at least 5 000 years. However, the symbol with its oblique arms turned clockwise became the national symbol for Nazi Germany due to Hitler. 

This use of the swastika ended in World War II with the German surrender in May 1945, though the swastika is still favoured by many neo-Nazi groups today.

@kanyamofokeng said: "This was today at @wimpy_sa Fleurdal Mall in Bloemfontein. #Nazi #SwartzSticker"

"Also today, on the outskirts of Bloemfontein. Looked like a gathering of some sort as there was a fleet of cake."

Many didn't react lightly to the clip, and shared how disgusted they were, even demanding that Wimpy give an explanation.

Wimpy responded to the incident saying: "We've been made aware of a video showing a customer depicting Nazi insignia - eating at one of our Bloemfontein Wimpy restaurants. We take matters of this nature this very seriously and are investigating this. It seems like the customer may have been participating in a World War II Operation Barbarossa commemoration event that took place this weekend in the area. We're confirming the nature of the event and are immediately investigating this matter."

The World War II Operation Barbarossa commemoration is an annual event that has taken place in Bloemfontein over recent years. Operation Barbarossa was a codename for the German invasion of the Soviet Union, which was launched on June 22, 1941. 

The failure of German troops to defeat Soviet forces in the campaign signaled a crucial turning point in the war.

* More information can be found here.

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