South African Jews enraged at ANC party worker's post praising Hitler

(Photo: Reuters)Former South African President Nelson Mandela lays a wreath in the "Hall of Remembrances" with Chairman of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Azner Shalez (2R) October 18, 1999 as Mandela honoured the six-million Jews who perished at the hands of the Nazis during World War II. Earlier Mandela toured the Holocaust Museum. Mandela will meet Prime Minister Ehud Barak this evening and tomorrow travels to the Palestinian self-rule area of the Gaza Strip.

A Facebook posting by a woman working for the national ruling party in South Africa has angered the Jewish community by saying Adolph Hitler was right in killing Jews.

The African National Congress has distanced itself from Rene Smit, the woman who the photo on her Facebook page, South Africa's News24 reported Tuesday.

Smit says on her Facebook page that she manages social media for the African National Congress in the Western Cape province.

The ANC is South Africa's ruling party, but it is in opposition in the Western Cape, which is run by the Democratic Alliance.

At the weekend, Smit posted a picture of German Nazi leader Hitler with the caption "yes, man you were right."

Underneath Hitler's photo are the words "I could have killed all the Jews but I left some of them to tell you why I was killing them. SHARE THIS PICTURE TO TELL THE WORLD THE WHOLE TRUTH."

The post was screen grabbed and made headlines in the The Times of Israel newspaper.

Smit has, however, removed the post and told the Times that she did so "immediately once I became aware that it is inappropriate and offensive."


The South African Jewish Board of Deputies asked for a meeting with the secretary-general of the ANC, Gwede Mantashe, over the incident, reported the Times.

Western Cape ANC spokesperson Cobus Grobler said, however, Smit was not a party employee but helped during its election campaign as a volunteer.

The Jewish board said it is also considering taking ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte to court over her comments in which she likened Israel's attacks on Palestine to Nazism.

The Democratic Alliance strongly condemned "the anti-Semitic hate speech" posted on Facebook.

"The DA calls on the governing party 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."

Smit has continued pledging support for Palestine.

At the weekend she also posted a photo stating that the same person who was contracted to build Israel's separation wall, dubbed by many as an "apartheid wall," funds the Democratic Alliance, which is the main parliamentary opposition.

Smit said she was responding to the latest Israeli offensive in Palestine that has left almost 200 people dead.

Jews in South Africa have been prominent in both ruling and opposition parties in South Africa, but are have taken a back seat fearing being accused of racism in they oppose the ruling party, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported in December.

Jews were prominent opponents of apartheid and played a key role in the ANC' struggle against the racist ideology.

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