Apartheid was not a crime against humanity, according to Afriforum CEO Kallie Kriel. The leader of the Afrikaner lobby group sparked outrage on Monday when, in a radio interview, he said, "I don't think apartheid was a crime against humanity..."
This was during a debate on Talk Radio 702's The Eusebius McKaiser Show, with Wits University vice-chancellor Adam Habib and North-West University associate law professor Elmien du Plessis.
Later, in an interview with New24, Kriel reportedly said that Afriforum did not condone apartheid, but the organisation merely did not think it was as serious as, say, the Holocaust.
He was also adamant that only 700 people were killed by the apartheid security police.
"We do not beat around the bush about that. What I said to Eusebius is that a crime against humanity is the gassing of 6-million Jews in gas chambers. In my view, you cannot equate that to the 700 people that were killed by the security police during apartheid.
"It was wrong to infringe on the rights of the people... [but this] cannot be equated to (Adolf) Hitler or communism. That equation cannot be made. You cannot equate crimes against humanity with apartheid.
"There was not a mass killing of people," said Kriel.
Apartheid was declared a crime against humanity by the U.N., and the Rome Statute of 2002 defines apartheid as "inhumane acts of a character similar to other crimes against humanity".
Kriel and his fellow Afriforum leader Ernst Roets recently went to the U.S. to engage with leaders there about the group's views on farm murders.
Many people took to Twitter to condemn Kriel's opinion.
Can we declare Kallie Kriel a crime against human intelligence and a Mampara of 2018! https://t.co/QIqDOeS1E4— Palesa Morudu (@palesa_morudu) May 14, 2018
20. Not only is apartheid a crime against humanity and a very very clear concept. But it is a crime that pays its perpretrators every day. Enough said.— Johan Pienaar (@JohanPienaar) May 14, 2018
Hendrik Verwoerd claimed that apartheid was not a racist system but deemed it to be a system of "good neighborliness".— #SinuousLinesDesign (@Sentletse) May 14, 2018
It's not surprising that the racist scum of society like @ErnstRoets and @kalliekriel will deny they are racist and that Afriforum is a racist organisation.
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. Read more books @kalliekriel https://t.co/X3g2RqfOWJ— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) May 14, 2018