It is dangerous to consider axed Wits SRC president Mcebo Dlamini’s controversial admiration of Hitler as a contribution to the black struggle against racism. This is according to Professor Steven Friedman, the director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Johannesburg.
“We are entering very dangerous territory when open support for a racist mass murderer is regarded as a contribution to the black struggle against racism,” Friedman wrote on Facebook this week.
He added that Hitler had killed at least 12 million people – millions of whom were not Jewish – simply because of their race and that the only reason he hadn’t killed millions of black people is that there weren’t many in the areas he conquered.
“I believe that the sad reality here is that too many who pass themselves off as ‘left’ in this country are actually right-wing racists,” Friedman added.
Many students have come out in support of Dlamini, including the Wits Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), which has described Wits vice-chancellor Adam Habib’s decision to expel Dlamini as “unguided” and “hypocritical”.
The Rhodes Must Fall movement at the University of Cape Town has also rallied behind Dlamini by calling for Habib to fall.
— @khathi (@nkhathale) May 7, 2015
— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) May 7, 2015
On Thursday evening, students booed Habib during a debate about his decision to expel Dlamini, claiming that the move had been an attempt to appease white and Jewish donors and members of the university community. Habib defended his decision and said that the decision to remove Dlamini was not related to the comments concerning Hitler.
Although Dlamini’s dismissal came after his comments about Hitler, Habib made it clear in a statement on Monday that he was removed as SRC president because of an assault case dating back to last year.
You can read Friedman’s full post here.