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SAJBD lodges complaint over Jew comment

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The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) has lodged a formal complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) following an inflammatory social media post by a former African National Congress (ANC) employee.

The post, made by one Rene Smit (a former ANC volunteer) pictured Adolf Hitler with the caption: “I could have killed all the Jews but I left some of them to let you know why I was killing them”. The commented was posted in light of recent retaliatory air strikes on the Gaza strip in Palestine over the last week.

According to SAJBD, Smit’s post on a public platform was in contravention of the Prohibition of Hate Speech as contained in the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act of 2000.

In a press statement SAJBD chairperson Mary Kluk said: “The message conveyed by the post was that the nature of the Jewish people everywhere is so intrinsically evil as to have justified the murder of six million Jews at the hands of the Nazis. It further suggests that just as Jewish victims of Nazism had no right to live, so is this true of all Jews today.”

The ANC has completely distanced itself from Smit, saying she was not an employee, official or manager of the party.

“She is not even an ANC member, but a supporter that does a lot of volunteer work.”

But in the same statement the ruling party excused Smit’s actions too, explaining that she “remorsefully removed” her post when other readers made her pay attention to the possibly inflammatory nature of the post. The party also shifted blame from Smit by saying the post did not originate from her, “but originated from a different source.

The SAHRC was unavailable for comment. VOC (Andriques Che Petersen)


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