Uproar over 'Hitler' Facebook post


A woman who spearheaded the ANC's social media election campaign in Western Cape is at the centre of an anti-Semitism row.

ANC volunteer Rene Smit at the weekend posted a picture of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler with the caption: "Yes, man you were right" on her Facebook page.

Below the picture of Hitler were the words: "I could have killed all the Jews, but I left some of them to tell you why I was killing them."

Smit said she shared the picture as part of the "outpour of protest against the Israeli killing of innocent babies and women in the Gaza Strip".

"I remorsefully removed it immediately once I became aware that it is inappropriate and offensive."

Smit said she posted the picture and comments in her personal capacity.

Western Cape ANC spokesman Cobus Grobler said Smit was "not employed by the ANC".

"She assisted in our recent election campaign . anybody can help us as a volunteer."

Grobler said "the ANC condemned the conflict on both sides. But the oppression of the people of Palestine is unacceptable."

The SA Jewish Board of Deputies has written to ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe asking for a meeting about the Facebook post.

The board's director, Wendy Kahn, said the ANC should "distance itself from such comments and say it would not work with that volunteer again".

Kahn said: "In the past 48 hours the posts on social media have been absolutely appalling and upsetting to the Jewish community."

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte on Thursday likened Israel's attacks on Palestine to Nazism.

The board is considering taking Duarte to court.

On Sunday, the phrase "Hitler was right" trended on Twitter worldwide as tweeters lashed out at the Jewish state for the 172 deaths in Gaza in the past week.