Australian MP ordered 'Nazi salute'

2011-04-15 11:23

kalahari.com

Sydney - A key MP who holds the balance of power in parliament was on Friday accused of ordering military cadets to commemorate Adolf Hitler's rise to power, but said he could not remember the incident.

Andrew Wilkie allegedly told teenage army recruits to salute the 50th anniversary of Hitler's 1933 rise when he was a senior cadet at the elite Duntroon Military College in 1983, News Limited newspapers reported.

When one recruit refused to stand to attention in honour of the Nazis, the independent politician allegedly allowed other senior cadets to abuse and punish him.

Wilkie, a key member of Prime Minister Julia Gillard's fragile coalition government, said he had no recollection of the incident and would not be apologising.

But he admitted involvement in "bastardisation", or initiation, sessions at the officer training academy.

"I honestly cannot remember anything about that specific allegation," Wilkie told a press conference, referring to the Hitler claims.

Smear campaign

"But I have never made a secret of the fact that I was one of many cadets involved in the bastardisation scandal at the Royal Military College Duntroon in 1983. In fact I was disciplined for misconduct at the time."

Wilkie said he was "obviously regretful" of that.

"I never physically assaulted anyone, I never sexually assaulted anyone and anyone who makes an accusation like that needs to watch out," he added.

The former Iraq war whistle-blower is currently leading a push against problem slot machine gambling and revealed on Wednesday that he was getting death threats as debate intensified about imposing betting limits.

He claimed the Nazi allegations were part of a deliberate smear campaign over his push to crack down on poker machines.

"This is happening ... against the backdrop of the poker machine industry launching its campaign ... against the government and me personally," he said.

Sex scandal

"I will not be intimidated by that campaign against me. I will not be cowed in any way."

News Limited newspapers quoted former cadet Brendan Etches, whose grandfather fought against Hitler's troops at Tobruk, as saying he was shocked at being ordered to salute the regime.

"I refused to come to attention when they ordered the general salute," said Etches, who was 17-years-old at the time.

Etches left Duntroon soon after and was one of three cadets who blew the whistle on the college's "sick secret cult" of sadistic punishment for trifling or imagined offences.

The scandal led to the resignation of senior officers and the expulsion and disciplining of several cadets, including Wilkie, although he went on to attain the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the army.

The allegations come just days after Defence Minister Stephen Smith ordered a series of reviews into conduct in the military sparked by a sex scandal involving a young female cadet at the Defence Force
Academy.

Decades of misconduct

The woman went to the media after a male recruit allegedly filmed himself having sex with her and broadcast it via Skype to his friends.

The publicity triggered other complaints about sexual misconduct stretching back decades.

Wilkie urged the government to conduct a specific review of Duntroon as part of its campaign to weed out unsavoury behaviour.

"If we are going to have a fresh look at what's going on... it would be healthy to not just look at the Defence Force Academy but to look at Duntroon as well," he said.

Read more on:    julia gillard  |  australia
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

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
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Sir Lowry's Pass - 17:57 PM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 17:56 PM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Riebeeck Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia E7

Your mobile office Real-time emails with Mail for Exchange. Easy access to...

From R3499.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself fascinated by something which could draw you in to obsessively exploring this subject in depth....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

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.

Settings

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.