Deep, unresolved racism in SA – Jansen

2015-09-01 12:05
University of the Free State vice-chancellor and rector Professor Jonathan Jansen. (Supplied)

University of the Free State vice-chancellor and rector Professor Jonathan Jansen. (Supplied) (Supplied)

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Johannesburg – Recent statements by student leaders and politicians about Nazi leader Adolf Hitler reveal a "deep, unresolved racism" in South Africa, says University of the Free State Vice-Chancellor Professor Jonathan Jansen.

“How is it even possible the genocide of millions in the hands of Hitler under the flag of national socialism could bypass the consciousness of these fellow South Africans?

“Have our moral arteries become so hardened that we are losing the capacity for both horror and empathy?”

Jansen was speaking on Tuesday at the opening of the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre.

He referred to Wits University student leader Mcebo Dlamini, who expressed his admiration for the Nazi leader to first-year North West University students - he started the discussion with a Nazi salute - and to comments by the Freedom Front Plus leader about racial quotas in rugby carried in a Bloemfontein newspaper.

Such atrocious behaviour from students and politicians reflected a “dire lack” of education about and awareness of the Holocaust in Europe in the 1940s, the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 and apartheid in South Africa.

Jansen appealed for millions of schoolchildren and students to be brought to the centre every year, saying it might be the only education they receive.

“[It might help] rescue this wounded nation from having its citizens turn on one another with the kind of rage and anger that we see on campuses and in communities,” he said.

Read more on:    jonathan jansen  |  johannesburg  |  racism

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