Dept tells former Wits SRC president to get his facts straight

2015-05-06 15:44
Mcebo Dlamini, the Wits SRC president who wrote that he loves Hitler on his Facebook page. Picture Elizabeth Sejake/City Press

Mcebo Dlamini, the Wits SRC president who wrote that he loves Hitler on his Facebook page. Picture Elizabeth Sejake/City Press

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Johannesburg - The Department of Higher Education is the latest to blast ousted Wits student leader Mcebo Dlamini for his controversial statement about Adolf Hitler. 

“Irresponsible statements about Hitler, for example, cannot be made in ignorance of the role that he actually played,” said spokesperson Khaye Nkwanyana.

“Hitler and the Nazi regime that he led were responsible for unleashing on the world the worst violence in the twentieth century. The Second World War resulted in more than 50 million dead and many more maimed and wounded.”

On Monday, a disciplinary hearing ruled that Dlamini, who was the university’s student representative council president, would be excluded academically following “inflammatory” statements he made about Hitler.

Dlamini thrust himself into the spotlight after he posted a photo on Facebook last week that compared the Israeli government with the Nazi regime.

“In every white person there is an element of Hitler,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

Also on Monday, Wits’ Vice Chancellor Professor Adam Habib released Dlamini from his student council responsibilities after a disciplinary hearing found him guilty of several other indiscretions, including assaulting a member of staff.

Nkwanyana said: “The department calls on all student leaders to think carefully and to be fully informed before making inflammatory statements about people and events, including historical figures and episodes. We should not be making such statements when we are oblivious of the facts.”

Hitler was a racist who believed that Jews, Roma (or Gypsies) and blacks were the lowest forms of human life, he said, adding that the former German leader considered these people to be sub-human and not worthy of any rights.

“We urge student organisations to educate their leaders politically and promote general student awareness about history. We should do some basic research before making statements that can inflict great psychological pain on the survivors as well as the relatives and descendants of the victims of historical injustices,” he said.

He said the department was willing to partner with the South African Union of Students to promote a general awareness of history, and supported the department’s plans to introduce history as a compulsory subject up to Grade 12.

Follow Sipho Masondo on Twitter: @vercingetorics

Read more on:    wits university  |  adam habib  |  mcebo dlamini  |  johannesburg  |  racism  |  education

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