South Africa / 26-04-2012
Reserve Bank's Holocaust denier
Pretoria - The South African Israel Public Affairs Committee (SAIPAC) called on Sunday for the director of the South African Reserve bank to be fired from his post because of his pro-Nazi opinions.
In interviews and articles last week Stephen Goodson expressed his admiration for the Nazi regime, and claimed that the Holocaust was a “huge lie.”
Speaking at the Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony held in Pretoria on Sunday, David Hersch, head of SAIPAC, called on the South African Reserve Bank to release Goodson immediately from his public position.
“Goodson should be fired immediately or made to resign immediately. The Reserve Bank should be ashamed to have someone like this on their board of directors and now that he has been exposed, they should act immediately,” he said. Hersch emphasized that the bank’s reaction to the issue, stating that Goodson’s mandate would end this July, “is not good enough.”
Hersch also called upon the South African government to issue a clear statement “condemning Goodson and distancing them from him and his statements, opinions, his denial of the Holocaust and adherence to anti-Semitic hate speech and complete falsehood.”
The South African Mail and Guardian revealed last week that Goodson has written articles depicting an “historical analysis of banking history,” according to which Jewish bankers invented the Holocaust just to extract money from Germany. In an interview with an extreme-right American radio station two years ago, Goodson refers also to “ritual murder” executed, so he claimed, by Jews in the early centuries.
The South Africa Jewish Board of Deputies assured the Jewish community on Monday that they are following up very closely on the issue, as they systematically do on all antisemitic incidents.
David Jacobson, executive-director of the board in Cape Town, stated that the community was “shocked” over the “grossly anti-Semitic and racially inflammatory views” propagated by Goodson, and that the community welcomed the fact that the Reserve Bank has distanced itself from the opinions expressed by him. This adds to the statement made by the Board’s chairman, Mary Kluk, last week, condemning Goodson’s “hurtful and offensive” views.
Members of the Jewish community emphasized that although they identify with the call to fire Goodson, they understand that legally the Reserve Bank cannot do so, as he is serving as a non-executive director, representing the Reserve Bank’s shareholders, and is not employed by the bank.