Fees Must Fall activist Mcebo Dlamini apologises for antisemitic comments

Fees Must Fall activist Mcebo Dlamini has apologised for hurtful comments made about Jews. 'I hope that my apology will be accepted as sincere and honest,' he said.
Fees Must Fall activist Mcebo Dlamini has apologised for hurtful comments made about Jews. 'I hope that my apology will be accepted as sincere and honest,' he said.
Image: Alon Skuy

The former Wits SRC president Mcebo Dlamini has apologised to the SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) for the antisemitic comments he made in 2015.

In his comments, Dlamini expressed admiration for  Adolf Hitler and delved into stereotypical antisemitic tropes about Jews. The SAJBD lodged a formal complaint against him with the SAHRC at the time.

SAJBD vice-president Zev Krengel said Dlamini’s apology was truly remorseful.

“The sincerity with which he acknowledged the hurt that he caused our community was palpable. This understanding prompted him to make an unequivocal apology. His recognition that the statements were antisemitic, hurtful and offensive, together with his genuine apology, enables us to heal from the hurt he caused.

“It is important for us as a community, and as South Africans, to identify when genuine remorse is expressed. It is equally important for us to accept a sincere apology of this nature as it enables us to move forward.”

Dlamini also attended a facilitated educational engagement in the permanent exhibition at the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre (JHGC).

“In 2015 I uttered statements about Jews and Israelis that were not only provocative but also extremely offensive. It is only in retrospect that I began to appreciate how much my statements were both ill-advised and to a certain extent dangerous because they ignored the kind of trauma that they caused.

“As someone who is interested in politics and how they can be used to advance a better world for all I should have known better,” Dlamini said.

He said he has now matured and has a better understanding.

“It is because of this that, in good faith, I hope that my apology will be accepted as sincere and honest. This apology is well thought out and is a result of extensive consultation. I have thought very deeply about the kind of leader I want to be and it is definitely not a leader that spreads hate and rejoices at the misfortunes of others.” he added.

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