'Hate camp'must be probed - DA

2012-02-24 22:30
Johannesburg - The Human Rights Commission should investigate reports that a youth camp in Mpumalanga was training boys to hate blacks, the Democratic Alliance said on Friday.

"This training includes firearm handling and political indoctrination designed to foster racial hatred," said spokesperson Mmusi Maimane.

The camp outside Carolina, called Kommandokorps, claims to have trained over 1500 boys.

The Mail & Guardian newspaper reported that boys - aged between 13 and 19 - were told that black people were the most under-developed, barbaric members of the human race.

The boys heard that blacks had a smaller cerebral cortex and therefore could not use their initiative or govern properly.

Maimane said it would ask the SAHRC to investigate whether the activities at the camp were legal. It would ask whether hate crimes had been perpetrated, how the group received its weapons, and how the boys were recruited.

"The tragic farm murders that have rocked parts of the country in recent weeks have understandably made people fearful and angry," said Maimane.

"But racist organisations such as this are not the solution to the legitimate concerns that rural South Africans have for their safety."

According to the newspaper, the camp's leader, Franz Jooste, 57, claimed it would take him an hour to eradicate any ideas the boys might have about being part of a rainbow nation. But he denied trying to force them in any particular direction.

"All we want to do is channel the feeling they already carry within them. We don't want them to hate."

One of the boys told the newspaper before the camp he thought people got along "pretty well" in South Africa and that racism had to be fought. Afterwards, he said there was a war being waged between blacks and whites and that a lot of blood would flow.

Another said at the start he was excited about getting to play with his paintball gun, that he did not like racism and had two black friends.

At the end of the nine-day camp, he said he had been taught to hate black people, that they killed everyone who crossed their path, and that he rejected his friends.

- SAPA
Read more on:    da  |  sahrc  |  mbombela  |  racism
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