Johannesburg - A defiant Andile Mngxitama is refusing to remove two anti-Semitic tweets even as the SA Jewish Board of Deputies prepares to take the Black First Land First (BLF) leader to the Equality Court.
In fact, the controversial Gupta ally said he would never remove the tweet and on Friday added to his anti-Semitic rhetoric.
On Thursday, Mngxitama fired off two tweets. The first read: “For those claiming the legacy of the Holocaust is only negative think about the lampshades and Jewish soap.”
A little later he added another: “I concure (sic) with @helenzille that the aroma of the burning flesh from the furnace of the Holocaust may wet (sic) the appetite of the SA cannibals.”
Then, on Friday Mngxitama, who has been accused of taking money from the Guptas and known for his intimidatory tactics against journalists, said: “Do you know that the Germans before they burnt the Jews they came down to Africa in 1911 and rounded up people in Namibia, in their villages? And they burnt them. Did the Jews care?”
For those claiming the legacy of the holocaust is ONLY negative think about the lampshades and Jewish soap.
“With this ugly, jeering remark, Mngxitama has portrayed not just the deliberate murder of Jewish people but even the supposed reduction of their remains to everyday objects as something to be treated as a joke,” she said.
“I’m upset they are upset,” said Mngxitama. “In fact that tweet, if you white people check a little bit about the sufferings of black people, you would have seen it is part of rephrasing Helen Zille’s tweet. I want you to look at yourself.
“That is not my creation, that is Helen Zille’s tweet but because you are so evil and self-absorbed, you don’t (care) for the suffering you have caused others.”
Mngxitama said his tweets were in reference to the Western Cape premier’s controversial tweets in March that not all aspects of the legacy of colonialism were negative.
In July the high court in Joburg granted the SA National Editors’ Forum an interdict against the BLF and Mngxitama after the manhandling of journalists in a protest outside Tiso Blackstar editor-at-large Peter Bruce's home.
Kahn said Mngxitama’s comments remained raw for a community which was still feeling the effects of the Holocaust that claimed the lives of six million Jews.
“This has caused incredible pain within the community where, only 70 years after the Holocaust, it is confronted with these graphic and very unpleasant images,” she said.
“We still have survivors in our community. The whole of the South African Jewish community in some way suffered from the Holocaust.”
Richard Freedman, the director of the SA Holocaust and Genocide Foundation, said during the genocide there were rumours and myths that some of the bodies of the victims were used to make soap, and lampshades were made from the victims’ skin.
However, there was no record of this happening. “What we know is in some camps the ashes from the burnt bodies were used as fertiliser and hair from the bodies was shaved off for filling beds. In some cases the gold fillings in their mouths would be plundered.” - Additional reporting by Bheki Mbanjwa