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Major Twitter backlash after Allister Sparks’ Verwoerd comment

Sparks listed apartheid architect Hendrik Verwoerd as one of many “smart” politicians he’s met.

Democratic Alliance congress in Port Elizabeth. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Veteran journalist Allister Sparks has found himself at the centre of a Twitter storm after he listed apartheid architect Hendrik Verwoerd as one of many "smart" politicians he's met during his 64-year long career.

Sparks made the comment while paying tribute to outgoing Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille at the party's congress in Port Elizabeth.

"I've encountered some really smart politicians, the likes of Harry Lawrence, Bernard Friedman, Margaret Ballinger, Helen Zille, Helen Suzman, Zach de Beer, Frederik van Zyl Slabbert, Marais Steyn, Japie Basson and Hendrik Verwoerd."

Sparks went on to say that he'd also met a huge number of incredibly dull and stupid politicians, provoking laughter among delegates.

"But over all those years, I have to say, objectively viewed, and setting aside my personal friendship, I rate Helen Zille as the smartest political tactician of all."

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