NMMU talk sees sparks fly

Thulani Gqirana

DISCUSSIONS became heated at a public lecture yesterday, with those attending almost coming to blows and some shouting their views across the room during audience interaction time.

The lecture, delivered by Ahmed Kathrada and titled Israel: An Apartheid State at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, was part of a national Israel Apartheid Week Campaign which started yesterday across South Africa.

The campaign includes public lectures, protests, exhibitions and film screenings to raise awareness.

Kathrada, 84, started the lecture by recounting a visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1951, where he had seen what “racism logically meant. It was an unforgettable experience. I saw lampshades made of human skin, cushions made of human hair, a glass container which held the teeth of prisoners which were extracted before they were killed,” he said.

The former ANC NEC member said it was not possible to speak about Israel, without speaking about South Africa.

“South Africans know the humiliation of racism … where apartheid reduced people to the level of dogs.”

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