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Student groups condemn goose-step, Hitler salute at Wits

A Wits University student was filmed on Thursday performing a goose-step and Nazi strong-arm salute on campus. This comes at the end of the Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) activities on campus, which began on Monday, 6 March.

The goose-step and Nazi salute are associated with the German army and the Holocaust – a period in German history in which Hitler and the Nazi regime displaced thousands of Jewish communities, and persecuted and killed over six million Jewish people. The goose-step and Nazi salute are deeply anti-Semitic.


On Friday, the Wits Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC), Amnesty International Wits, and the Wits Muslim Student Association (MSA) released a joint statement “unequivocally and unconditionally” condemning the incident. “This brazen anti-Semitism is an insult to the values we share and is entirely inconsistent with our opposition to fascism in all its forms,” the statement said.

“We shall never forget the historical persecution faced by the Jewish people, nor shall we ever deny or attempt to justify the horror of the Holocaust,” the statement read. They said their fight is with the Israeli state and not with the Jewish people and that anti-Semitism is not representative of the objectives of IAW.

The student was a member of the MSA. The organisation has since revoked his membership and is initiating disciplinary processes against him. He is not a member of the PSC or Amnesty International Wits. The three parties said they are considering opening a case against him at the Human Rights Commission.

The student groups said there is a need to interrogate all forms of bigotry and social injustice – including misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia and anti-Semitism – within activist spaces.

Students at Wits have held demonstrations for IAW throughout the week. On Tuesday, a brief scuffle broke out between IAW protestors and members of the South African Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS), who were contesting space in which to set up their respective installations.

In a statement, the university said that it had received several complaints about incidents that took place during IAW 2017. It said these matters are “internal student issues which are being managed by the dean of students in line with the university’s rules, policies and procedures”.

“We call on all parties, both within and beyond the university, to engage responsibly within the confines of the law and abide by the rules of the university.”

The Daily Vox has reached out to SAUJS for comment and this story will be updated should the group respond.

3 Comments
  1. StoptheBS says

    Daily Vox condoning anti semitism when they originally had an article that said “Alleged anti Semitism” with a picture of “kill the Jews” graffitied on the wall.
    They shared a video presented by a Hammas apologist which offends gay people also just btw (see Hammas charter) and failed to mention Jews that were kicked out of Arab countries or that when the Ottomans invaded then Palestine(named by Romans also just btw) that Jews and Christians had to pay taxes.
    They are supported and align with the MRN who has Holocaust denial articles.

    Stop whitesplaining Jewish pain.
    Stop having articles that literally ignore Jews of colour’s pain.
    Stop definining Jewish self determination.
    Stop saying alleged when it is literally written on the wall.
    Mostly, stop being hypocrites

  2. Yani says

    What the hell are you writing about this for Shaazia Ebrahim as if it is some earth shattering news. Who really gives a damn!

    “considering opening a case against him at the Human Rights Commission” Seriously, this is worth a case in the HRC? Give me a break… Israel is worth a case in the ICC for 69 years of murder, theft and racist abuse.

    Some kid does a goosestep and holds his finger under his nose and shit hits the fan. 200 disabled kids in a West Bank school aged 3-10 cop a teargas attack by a-holes in IDF uniform (I was there, it’s not a one off but a regulrar act of abuse) and nothing happens. Not even an report in the Palestinian media. You have to die to be newsworthy in Palestine.

    Why don’t you get of your butt Shaazia Ebrahim and go to Palestine for a few months and find the stories that are worth writing about and give up on this pathetic journalism about nothing of consequence.

    1. Yani Haigh says

      Sorry for the typos… regulrar… regular. It’s a good indication I’m thinking GRRRR!

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