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Jewish board calls for ANC to take action

The board has demanded the ANC to take action after anti-semitic hate speech was posted on Facebook.

FILE. The Cape South African Jewish Board of Deputies has demanded the ANC to take action after what it calls anti-semitic hate speech was posted on Facebook by an ANC member. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Cape South African Jewish Board of Deputies has called on the African National Congress (ANC) in the Western Cape to take action against a ruling party volunteer who posted what it calls anti-semitic hate speech on Facebook.

The ANC in the province has also taken issue with the message, but says the woman, Rene Smit, is only a party volunteer and therefore action must be taken against her in her own capacity.

The woman reposted a picture lauding Adolf Hitler's genocide of the Jews on her Facebook page at the weekend.

The board's David Jacobson says, "Most South Africans would have expected that a party like the ANC, that has prided itself correctly on an anti-racist agenda, would hurry to distance itself from those statements and it seems they've been very tardy in doing so, which is really upsetting."

The ANC is now facing calls to denounce the woman, who apparently is the party's social media manager in the province.

Last week, ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte caused fury by comparing Israel's attacks on Palestine with the carnages of Nazi Germany.

The Jewish Board of Deputies described the statement as 'venomous' and is considering taking Duarte to court.

South Africa's chief rabbi Warren Goldstein also attacked Duarte's comments, saying parts of her statement were "abhorrent and beyond the pale of civilised discourse".