Wits Student Represantative Council President Mcebo addresses the student beforehe institution's Vice Chancellor Adam Habib (left) had delivered the statement from the partaining to student funding and financial aid at the Press briefing in Braamfontein near Johannesburg. 210115 Picture: Boxer Ngwenya

Johannesburg - The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) has laid criminal charges against ousted Wits Student Representative Council (SRC) president Mcebo Dlamini.

The SAJBD said it had laid the charges against Dlamini on Monday for racist and defamatory comments made against the South African Jewish community last week.

“Specifically, Dlamini stated regarding the Jewish community: ‘They are devils. They are good for nothing. They are hypocritical, just like (Wits University vice-chancellor) Adam Habib. They are uncircumcised in heart’.”

The comments were made during a live interview on PowerFM last Tuesday.

“Dlamini’s comments are the latest in a series of offensive public statements that he made about South African Jews over the past nine months,” the statement said.

SAJBD spokesman Jeff Katz told The Star on Monday that the SAJBD had laid charges, which included a letter of complaint outlining Dlamini’s hate speech, inciting of violence and crimen injuria, a crime under South African common law, defined as an act of “unlawfully, intentionally and seriously impairing the dignity of another”.

“Police will investigate and we hope criminal charges will be formally laid against him. We want this to go to court and, furthermore, go to trial. We are grateful to live in the constitutional democracy where such conduct is deemed a criminal offence,” sid Katz.

When The Star spoke to Dlamini on Monday night, he said he was not aware of the charges but would take the necessary action if need be. “I will meet them in court,” he said.

In defence of his remarks, Dlamini said that during his PowerFM interview last week, the Jewish community had misconstrued his “I love Hitler” comments and taken them out of context. “After this, I thought to myself, I will show you exactly who you are. They (Jews) are hypocrites!”

Dlamini was interviewed after a hearing to review his suspension as SRC president.

In response to Dlamini’s PowerFM interview, Wits University spokeswoman Shirona Patel said Habib would not respond to every “irrational, unsubstantiated comment that Mr Dlamini makes as a legal process is under way”.

Dlamini was thrust into the media spotlight recently after his “I love Hitler” comments went viral across social media.

[email protected]

The Star