'Apartheid was not a crime against humanity': AfriForum CEO's remark sparks outrage

15 May 2018 - 08:41 By Ngwako Modjadji And Neo Goba
AfriForum CEO Kallie Kriel. File photo.
AfriForum CEO Kallie Kriel. File photo.
Image: Phill Magakoe

There were not enough people killed during apartheid to justify it being called a crime against humanity.

This was said by AfriForum CEO Kallie Kriel on Monday‚ who compared the number of people killed under the regime to the six million Jews murdered under Adolf Hitler.

"The figure we have is that 600 people were killed in the [19] 90s. In the '80s and early '90s‚ people died during the people's war conducted by the ANC‚" Kriel said. Asked how many deaths would warrant apartheid to be classified as a crime against humanity‚ Kriel said: "A decision to eradicate people by Adolf Hitler."

Kriel caused much anger when he told 702 Radio talkshow host Eusebius McKaiser that he did not believe that apartheid was a crime against humanity.

Last night he defended himself saying he recognised that the system was "an infringement of the rights of other people based on their race".

However‚ he insisted the United Nations was wrong to call it a crime against humanity. "There were never mass killings of people under apartheid as we saw under communism when the Jews were killed. When you speak about a concept of apartheid as a crime against humanity I see mass killings. That did not happen under apartheid."

Kriel said deputy CEO of AfriForum Ernst Roets had conducted research two years ago about the number of people killed during apartheid.

But‚ when called‚ Roets denied this and said he merely read what was available in the public domain on the subject.

This was despite the fact many black people were murdered by the apartheid regime even though there were not exact figures available.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission‚ charged with investigating politically motivated gross human rights violations committee between 1960 and 1994‚ in its report fully endorsed the international law position that apartheid was a crime against humanity.

ANC national spokesman Pule Mabe said what characterised apartheid was its entrenchment of divisions and hatred in society. "It was through the democratic breakthrough facilitated by the ANC that everyone in this country has the right to vote and exercise their choice."

Mabe said it was important that everyone contributed towards building a better country where people do not see each through the colour of skins.

EFF national spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said AfriForum should be ignored.

"AfriForum knows they are lying. So the question is why would they say such ridiculous things? It is because they hope media will spread this very lie for them."

DA federal chairman Athol Trollip said Kriel was inaccurate. "The DA believes apartheid was a real travesty in every single respect . and nobody in their right mind can say apartheid was not a travesty‚ I believe it was‚" he said.

South Africans responded to Kriel's comments with outrage.

Afriforum CEO Kallie Kriel believes that apartheid was not a crime against humanity. He said this during a radio interview on May 15 2018. Here's how Twitter reacted.

Last night‚ Kriel attempted to brush off the condemnation‚ in a response pulling the "red peril" card to the DA's Phumzile van Damme.

Van Damme bluntly told him: "The thing about Apartheid denialists is that they rely on Godwin’s law to convince their followers that Apartheid wasn’t so bad because it 'wasn’t like the Holocaust'. Such argument not only shows low intellect but a lack of emotional intelligence."

To this‚ Kriel said in part: "The ANC's alternative to Apartheid was communism‚ a system that killed 100 million people. To make this point is by no means an effort to justify Apartheid." 

- SowetanLIVE‚ additions by staff reporter

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