The University of Cape Town (UCT) says it is aware of an incident where one of its lecturers claimed that Adolf Hitler “committed no crime”.
This is after Dr Lwazi Lushaba, a lecturer in the Department of Political Studies at the university, made the comments during a pre-recorded virtual lecture, which has since been shared on social media.
“Hitler committed no crime. All Hitler did was to do to white people what white people had normally reserved for black people,” he said.
In response to the incident, UCT distanced itself from “all brutalities of genocide constitute both formal crimes against humanity”, further saying that the matter was receiving attention.
“UCT had been alerted to and notes with grave concern comments allegedly made by a staff member during an online class. We are verifying all the facts.“
In the meantime, UCT is clear that all brutalities of genocide constitute both formal crimes against humanity and ongoing sources of pain. We distance ourselves very strongly from any other view. The matter is receiving attention through all appropriate channels,” the university said.
In the meantime, UCT is clear that all brutalities of genocide constitute both formal crimes against humanity and ongoing sources of pain. We distance ourselves very strongly from any other view. The matter is receiving attention through all appropriate channels.[2/2]
— UCT (@UCT_news) April 8, 2021
Lushaba received backlash from the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) as the lecturer’s comments come in light of the Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah), which will be observed on Friday, 9 April.
Six Holocaust survivors will each give a testimony and light candles for the six million Jewish people who perished at the hands of Nazi Germany.
Hitler, the leader of Nazi Germany, initiated World War II and oversaw fascist policies that resulted in millions of deaths.
In 2015, former University of Witwatersrand (Wits) Students’ Representative Council (SRC) president Mcebo Dlamini made headlines when he publically claimed his love for Hitler on his Facebook account.
His comment did not only spark public outrage and condemnation, but also saw him expelled as a member and president of the wits SRC.
Dlamini has since apologised for his anti-Semitic comments, saying he “should have known better”.