Many South African Jewish locals are observing Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) today, April 9.
We are reflecting on the recent anti-semitic comments made by lecturer, Dr Lwazi Lushaba just days earlier.
It is alleged that during a political science lecturer on April 7 at the University of Cape Town (UCT ), the lecturer made offensive comments whereby he said that Adolf Hitler “committed no crime”.
A statement by the Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) confirmed that they have received reports of the content of Dr Lwazi Lushaba’s lecture along with videos and supporting information.
According to the SAJBD, they have handed it over to their Antisemitism & Legal subcommittee, which is currently investigating the details of the matter.
“It deeply saddens us to see comments like those of Dr Lwazi Lushaba made during the week of Yom HaShoah.
“Our role as a Jewish organisation in moments like these is to engage, educate and empower those around us, including the students who complained, their academic institution and their educators,” the statement said.
The SAJBD also confirmed that they have reached out to Vice-Chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng and the university has launched an investigation of this incident.
“We believe for the moment that the matter is for UCT to further investigate and respond to before any further measures are considered.”
Meanwhile, the Democrat Alliance (DA) has complained over the UCT lecturer.
Natasha Lazzone, chief whip of the DA said in a statement on Friday that Lushaba’s comments were not only racist, offensive and vile, but also completely insensitive to the victims and survivors of the Holocaust and the Jewish community as a whole.
“Lushaba has a long history of offensive and controversial actions.
In 2019, he allegedly took exception to one of the contender’s in UCT’s election of its Dean of Humanities being Tanzanian and not South African,” Mazzone said.
IOL reported that the universities spokesperson, Elijah Moholola said the institution “notes with grave concern” the comments allegedly made by a staff member during an online class.