Earlier this year Wits Student Representative Council (SRC) President Mcebo Dlamini and other Wits students were celebrated as heroes when they came to the aid of a number of students who were about to lose their university places because they were unable to pay their registration fees.
The project, which the students called the One Million, One Month Campaign raised millions of rand. The funds were used to help a large number of students who had been rejected by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.
But yesterday, Dlamini came under fire after he took to social media to share his admiration for World War II Nazi leader Adolf Hitler who committed crimes against humanity on a massive scale.
In an interview with eNCA Dlamini was adamant that his statement had been taken out of context and people had misinterpreted his words.
“The issue is that I compared Nazi Germany and Israel today. We have all been told that Hitler stood for no good, but the sad part is, in as much as there is a bad side of him, there is a good side to him. He managed to uplift the spirit of the German people after it had went down in 1938 [sic],” he says.
He adds that Hitler also improved the country’s economy and infrastructure and that Germans rallied behind him.
Adding its voice to the chorus of disapproval of Dlamini’s comment, Wits University has now lodged an investigation into the beliefs of the controversial student.
The institution’s Vice Chancellor Adam Habib says the Wits’ legal team is looking at the matter and will see if disciplinary charges can be brought against Dlamini.
Other members of the university’s SRC have distanced themselves from the pro-Hitler social media post.
“We find it equally deplorable, the generalisation that all white people have elements of Hitler in them. We emphasise that these statements were not made in our name,” they said in a statement.
They add, however, that they believe Dlamini’s comments were not made to condone Hitler’s actions, and that he was in the process of clarifying what he had meant.
Here are several responses to the post:
One has to be a moron of a very special kind to say they admire Adolf Hitler. #MceboDlamini
— Justice Malala (@justicemalala) April 28, 2015
— Mawande Sobethwa (@manez134) April 29, 2015
white South Africans should not resort to racism themselves when addressing #MceboDlamini comments. As a Jew I take umbridge to antisemitism
— Lauren Kessler (@LaurenKessler) April 29, 2015
Do you think that by questioning and judging Dlamini for whom he thinks is a good leader we are policing freedom of speech? Please share your thoughts with us.