'Mein Führer' comment is hate speech: DA

2012-04-13 20:05
Johannesburg - The DA accused a senior Western Cape home affairs official of hate speech on Friday after he described leader Helen Zille as "Mein Führer" on social networking site Facebook.

"The remarks are made by someone who holds a senior government post... [and] the nature of his comments amount to hate speech," Democratic Alliance chairperson Wilmot James said.

On March 23, Patric Taric Mellet wrote on his Facebook page: "Mein Führer Helen Zille motormouth does not cease to amaze with her cloned NP [National Party] style. How she justifies her racist rants just deepens the foot-in-mouth disease."

Mein Führer, German for my leader, was used to address Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

Mellet also criticised Zille's comments last month, in which she referred to Eastern Cape pupils who flocked to the Western Cape for a better education as "refugees".

Seventeen people "liked" the post, and five commented. Two of them were negative comments about Zille.

Unbecoming of a civil servant

Mellet told The Star he was director of maritime and aviation projects at home affairs.

James said Mellet's comments were "irresponsible", "inappropriate" and "unbecoming of a civil servant".

"We think [Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma] should have a disciplinary hearing [for Mellet] at the very least, and we would imagine he would be eligible for suspension."

The fact that Mellet held such a high government post was evidence of the ruling party's use of cadre deployment, he said.

The Star newspaper quoted Mellet as saying his Facebook remarks were made in his personal capacity, and as such, he was constitutionally entitled to his own opinion.

"Also, be very careful not to put words into my mouth... Mein Führer... is simply referencing a tendency towards [PW] Botha style - the leader knows what is good for you [it is not referencing Hitler]," he said.

Home Affairs director general Mkuseli Apleni said he could not make an informed comment, because he had not read Mellet's comments.

"People have their own rights. As long as he is not saying it in his capacity as an official of the department," Apleni told Sapa.
Read more on:    da  |  home affairs  |  helen zille  |  social networks  |  hate speech

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.