A prominent South African BDS activist is being investigated by the University of Cape Town for defending Hitler in a lecture he gave to students.
In a taped lecture streamed for first-year political science students, political science instructor Lwazi Lushaba stated, “Hitler committed no crime. All Hitler did was to do to white people what white people had normally reserved for black people.”
A recording of Lushaba’s pro-Hitler lecture began circulating the week of Yom HaShoah, deeply troubling South Africa’s Jewish community.
A spokesperson for the University of Cape Town called the incident a “grave concern” in an interview with TimesLIVE, a South African newspaper.
“We are verifying all the facts. In the meantime, the university 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,” said Elijah Moholola.
Lushaba is well known as BDS supporter and signed a petition in 2011 that led to the University of Johannesburg severing ties with Ben Gurion University.
University of Cape Town students told TimesLive that Lushaba had a reputation for making racist statements.
“For anyone interested, Lushaba has been saying similarly egregious things since he got his doctorate,” a student told the news outlet.
Another student added, “Any time he gets hauled before the powers that be, he claims either racism or free speech.”
Tzvi Brivik, chair of the Cape South African Jewish Board of Deputies, said that they were in possession of the video and its anti-Semitism and legal subcommittee was launching an investigation into the lecture.
“To deny the tragedy which was the Holocaust, or the culpability of those involved, is to deny deep pain and lifelong trauma inflicted upon entire generations of Jews globally,” he said. “To represent genocide as a justifiable action against a minority in a political education space is shameful at best and devastating to students reliant on educators to help form their views.”