Dr Lwazi Lushaba is a lecturer at University of Cape Town (UCT) and is a part of the Politics Department Postgraduate Committee. He has a BA (Hons) from the University of Transkei, an MA in Philosophy from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, an MPhil from the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences in Kolkata, India, and a PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), South Africa. He has taught at University of Fort Hare and Wits, both in South Africa, and he has held a Visiting Fellowship at the African Studies Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Lushaba held in high regard by prominent institutions

Harvard University’s Hutchins Center

Interestingly, in April 2019 Harvard University’s ‘Hutchins Center for African and African American Research’ streamed an academic seminar with Dr Lushaba entitled “South African Studies and the Question of Decolonisation”. He is described on their website as as “a revolutionary intellectual”.

UCT states his ‘Research, Knowledge Exchange and Impact’:

“Lushaba’s interests include political philosophy, in particular German phenomenology and Enlightenment philosophy; Subaltern Studies (decolonial thought, the politics of representation, and postcolonial theory); African Politics, including African political economy and the postcolonial African state; and radical African/Black traditions of intellectual thought.”

Universiteit Leiden, Netherlands:

“He has been a recipient of several prestigious awards and fellowships including Ford Foundation Young African Scholar Award, Social Science Research Council (New York) Youth Fellowship, National Research Foundation (Pretoria) Scholarship for Doctoral Study Abroad, CODESRIA Small Grants for Thesis Writing and SEPHIS Research Training Fellowship.”

Lushaba: “Hitler committed no crime”

On Wednesday it came to light that during a pre-recorded lecture for first-year political science students, Dr Lushaba stated that “Hitler committed no crime. All Hitler did was to do to white people what white people had normally reserved for black people.”

This heinous remark became known to the public on Thursday, coincidentally the day when Jewish people around the world commemorated “Yom HaShoah”, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Condemnation and investigation

Chairman of the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) Rowan Polovin, told Algemeiner he was “shocked by the horrific and historically ignorant comments of Dr Lwazi Lushaba about Hitler.”

According to TimesLIVE, UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola stated “We are verifying all the facts. In the meantime, the university is clear that all brutalities of genocide constitute both formal crimes against humanity and ongoing sources of pain. We distance ourselves very strongly from any other view.”

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has committed to lodge a complaint against Lushaba with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC). Chief Whip of the Official Opposition Natasha Mazzone MP, made the following statement:

“The Holocaust was unequivocally a crime against humanity orchestrated by Hitler. The DA therefore strongly condemns the comments made by Lushaba.

His comments were not only racist, offensives and vile, but also completely insensitive to the victims and survivors of the Holocaust and the Jewish community as a whole. 

South Africa’s Jewish community will today observe Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. In remembering the victims of the Holocaust, we must place a renewed sense of responsibility on those in positions of power and influence to defend the truth and to defend our democracy against any racist or anti-Semitic sentiments. 

Lushaba has a long history of offensive and controversial actions. In 2019, he allegedly took exception to one of the contender’s in UCT’s election of its Dean of Humanities being Tanzanian and not South African. In an interview with Power FM, Lushaba stated that “reason and rationality are white”.  Lushaba was also suspended by Wits back in 2015 for “participating in activities which were not conducive to free and fair elections and were intolerant to a democratic society”.

The DA has taken note that UCT will probe Lushaba’s comments and we urge the institution’s Vice-Chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng to place him on suspension pending the investigation.”

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