‘Even Hitler had a dream …’ What on earth did Mbalula mean?

2014-04-11 00:00

SPORTS Minister Fikile Mbalula was apparently referring to the ANC’s “fascist” opposition when he made a Hitler comparison on Twitter.

His spokesperson, Anda Bici, offered this explanation yesterday when asked about the tweet. He added that the remark had no historical meaning.

The tweet, posted on Wednesday under Mbalula’s Twitter handle, @MbalulaFikile, reads: “Continue to dream even Hitler had a dream Team Anc Tbe [the best ever] let’s rock and roll street by street, house ro house no retreat!!! ” .

There was a furious reaction on the social network.

Bici explained yesterday that Hitler was a fascist who dreamt of controlling the universe, but failed.

“The fascist ideology has even failed those with mistaken fascist ideas who dream of beating the ANC [in the forthcoming election] but who will fail,” he said.

He said that one tweet can’t be singled out to arrive at a “wrong, narrow and misleading conclusion”.

“In Potchefstroom, children are being taught to salute Hitler-style.

“Why aren’t we debating that in 2014? Those who dream that this country will return to oppression, are daydreaming.”

He was referring to recent scandals around initiation practices at the North West University.

ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza agreed that Mbalula was referring to opposition parties.

“It’s just a dream they are offering voters that will never be reality.”

DA spokesperson and Gauteng premier candidate Mmusi Maimane said he’s not surprised that Mbalula would want to distance himself from something like his tweet.

“It is how the ANC is conducting its election campaign. Remember how recently [Public Enterprises Minister Malusi] Gigaba told their supporters the DA is the devil.

“The ANC regularly uses abusive language because they don’t know how to tackle the issues. It’s the only way they know.

“Mbalula himself is known for his contentiousness, like when he criticised Bafana as useless when they were knocked out of the Chan soccer tournament,” Maimane said.

Unisa political analyst Professor Dirk Kotze said there is no indication that Mbalula meant anything anti-Semitic by his Hitler reference, adding that holding Hitler up as an example of a dreamer would backfire on those who did so.

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