Sparks incensed over 'manufactured outrage' on his Verwoerd comment

2015-05-09 17:52
(Amanda Khoza, News24)

(Amanda Khoza, News24)

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WATCH: Allister Sparks explains his comments on Verwoerd

2015-05-09 18:35

Veteran journalist Allister Sparks, who is at the centre of a twar after saying apartheid architect Hendrik Verwoerd was a smart man, is incensed over the furore it has caused. WATCH

@carienduplessis @andiMakinana

Port Elizabeth - Veteran journalist Allister Sparks, who is at the centre of a twar after saying apartheid architect Hendrik Verwoerd was a smart man, is incensed over the furore it has caused.

During a farewell tribute to outgoing DA leader Helen Zille at the party's federal congress in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, Sparks said he had known several intelligent politicians "including Hendrik Verwoerd" and many other "dull and stupid" ones.

"I rate Helen Zille as the smartest political tactician of all," he said.

Asked what he meant by saying Verwoerd was a smart politician, Sparks said: “He was a clever man.

“He was not a fool. There is a difference between admiration and recognising that a man is clever. I said he was a smart politician.

"He built the National Party up to a huge majority and that meant he was a clever politician.

 "I opposed everything he said but I recognised a clever politician when I saw one. I don’t have to agree with people in order to recognise that they are really quite smart.”

Asked what he thought about the Twitter outrage, Sparks said it was a manufactured outrage started by [Political commentator] Eusebius McKaiser.  

 “He begins in his first tweet by saying he didn’t know whether he heard properly, but he didn’t phone me to check. I’m not difficult to find. I’m fairly well-known.

 “He contended that because I said I thought and gave a short list and incomplete list of people in my 64 years as a journalist I believed or felt have been smart, clever politicians. I included Verwoerd.

 “The fact that I thought he was clever doesn’t mean I admire him. If he had any kind of decency he would know that I fought Verwoerd most vigorously for the majority of my life and if he doesn’t know that, he is an ignorant man.

 “But I know he is not an ignorant man, so I say it was mischievous.”

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