(JTA) – The African National Congress indicated it would not take action against an employee who posted a Facebook message lauding Hitler’s genocide against the Jews.
ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe in an interview with the South African Jewish Report said Rene Smit, who works as social media manager at ANC Western Cape, posted the item on her own Facebook page and not in her ANC capacity. Therefore, Mantashe said, the ANC — South Africa’s ruling party — would not take responsibility for the episode.
The post has since been deleted.
The post displayed an image of Hitler with the title “Yes man, you were right …” followed by the line, “I could have killed all the Jews, but I left some of them to let you know why I was killing them.” At the bottom of the image was the message, “Share this picture to tell the truth a whole world.”
The South African Jewish Board of Deputies said it complained to Mantashe about the post.
The incident comes days after the ANC’s deputy secretary general, Jessie Duarte, posted a statement on the party’s website comparing Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to Nazi war crimes.
“As we move towards the month of August and are reminded of the atrocities of Nazi Germany, surely we must ask the people of Israel: has the term ‘lest we forget’ lost its meaning?” Duarte wrote.
The Board of Deputies also complained to Mantashe about that remark, which was condemned by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.