AfriForum CEO Kallie Kriel’s recent controversial apartheid comment has received widespread condemnation.
Now, one of his own family members is calling him out, describing his views as regressive and disgusting and calling them mistruths.
Kriel’s cousin Mathew Cuthbert, who is also a DA councillor in the City of Ekurhuleni, took to social media on Monday after Kriel commented that apartheid was not a crime against humanity when he spoke to Radio 702 host Eusebius McKaiser about farm murders.
Cuthbert posted on Facebook that he was disgusted by Kriel’s comments because apartheid was an evil system that legally, economically and psychologically oppressed a large majority of South Africans. He said it could not be deemed anything else but a crime against humanity.
When News24 contacted Cuthbert for comment, he revealed that Kriel was his first cousin and said it is important to speak out against those peddling denialist agendas, even if they happen to be family members.
“I believe that his views on apartheid are totally regressive,” Cuthbert told News24.
“He (Kriel) needs to acknowledge that a large proportion of our population were discriminated against on the basis of the colour of their skin. Apartheid left not only economic and social implications for a majority of South Africans, but deep psychological scars. In my lexicon, this constitutes a crime against humanity of the worst kind.”
“I personally take umbrage to such comments made by a family member, considering the fact that my partner is of colour and that she had family [members] who were oppressed under this evil system. Most importantly, it is in direct conflict with my own personal values and principles.”
‘A diverse set of views’
Cuthbert added that, whether it was a member of the public or a member of his family, he believed it was incumbent upon him to call them out where he felt they were ahistorical and spread mistruths.
“Whilst everyone has the right to freedom of expression, it is important that we take accountability for statements we make in the public domain. I believe that this is what I’m doing – holding him accountable.”
He added that the next family braai might be a good opportunity to have a critical discussion on why apartheid was a crime against humanity.
“As a family, I believe we have a diverse set of views. There are those who may share his views but there are others who have a long history in formations, such as the progressive party [which] fought against apartheid.”
Kriel told News24 that he was asked for his views on apartheid and that he stated he did not justify apartheid as the system infringed on the dignity of people on the basis of race.
He added that “apartheid was wrong”.
“We do not beat around the bush about that. What I said to Eusebius is that a crime against humanity is the gassing of six 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.”
Without providing proof, Kriel was adamant that only 700 people were killed 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.