Vice Chancellor of University of Pretoria responds after complaint is lodged by the SAJBD regarding antisemetic graffiti on campus
The SAJBD wrote to the Vice Chancellor of the University of Pretoria following a report of antisemitic graffiti on a noticeboard in the Humanities Building, including Nazi Swastikas and calls for all Jews to be gassed.
The SAJBD is appalled by the crassly offensive, demeaning and hurtful comment made this morning by Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama.
In a tweet, Mngxitama wrote, “For those claiming the legacy of the holocaust is ONLY negative think about the lampshades and Jewish soap.”
With this ugly, jeering remark, Mngxitama has portrayed not just the deliberate murder of Jewish people but even the supposed reduction of their remains to everyday objects as something to be treated as a joke.
This past weekend, 20 August saw the South African Jewish Board of Deputies 2017 Conference, with guest speaker Thuli Madonsela.
For the vast majority of South African Jews, the visit last week of a multi-party delegation of Israeli Members of Parliament (Knesset) has provided a welcome message of hope. It is a reminder that despite the destructive efforts of extremist factions aimed at perpetuating division and conflict, it remains possible for people of good will to find common cause with one another through dialogue and constructive engagement.
A delegation of Israeli Members of Parliament (Knesset) is currently on an official visit to South Africa. The delegation has met with leaders across the South African political spectrum, including with the ANC, DA, Cope, ACDP, IFP & FF+. The delegation also met with Jewish and Christian organisations, as well as the Business community.
Since its initial conceptualisation in 1919, the historic Durban Jewish Club has been not only the centre of Jewish communal life in Durban, but a frequently used public space for the broader society. The building itself, "surrounded by bush, rippling dunes of corrugated white sand mingled with ochre earth", was officially opened on 4 May 1931. Since then, it has been host to generations of people, with a history that has witnessed wars and political unrest, conferences and public meetings and music and theatre performances.
“COSATU has got members here even on this campus; we can make sure that for that side it will be hell”
“COSATU is with you, we will do everything to make sure that whether its at Wits University, whether its at Orange Grove, anyone who does not support equality and dignity, who does not support the rights of other people must face the consequences even if it means that we will do something that may necessarily cause what is regarded as harm…”
Determining where the boundary lies between legitimate freedom of expression and prohibited ‘hate speech’ can never be an exact science. During the flurry of debate that took place around the controversial Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill earlier this year, this was something that came through especially strongly. Err too much on one side, and victims of genuinely hurtful and insulting verbal abuse are left without a remedy; err too much on the other, and a fundamental pillar of democracy is undermined.