The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) has laid criminal charge against Simone Abigail Kriel, who is relatively well-known in fitness circles, for her alleged "antisemitic and inflammatory" comments on her Instagram account on 16 May 2020.
This comes after the organisation gave Kriel until close of business on 19 May to remove the offending material and post an unequivocal apology to the Jewish community, and that failing which, legal and/or other appropriate action would be taken against her.
In a statement, SAJBD said the charge was laid through its legal representatives Ian Levitt Attorneys.
"The racist and inflammatory rhetoric of this nature was not only criminal, but dangerous and needed to be confronted as strongly as possible," said SAJBD national vice-chairperson Professor Karen Milner.
"This was particularly true in the current climate, when many people were feeling anxious, frustrated and confused. It is at such times that conspiracy theories tend to flourish, and all too often Jews end up becoming the scapegoats.
"The posts, in this case, portray, inter alia, Jews as being intrinsically evil, morally and spiritually corrupt and enemies of humanity at large. As such they constitute classic antisemitism," said Milner, who is a professor of Psychology at Wits University.
On her Instagram, Kriel wrote: "The f*cking Jews are greedy as f*ck, and they will wage war against countries and races based on lies and deception to get what they want. It was the Jews that bombed, raped, sodomised, and burned all people in Germany alive. Hitler is innocent. Our history has been twisted to favour the Jews without question.
"There is a special place in hell for them. After what I've just watched, the religion is just as corrupt as the souls they embody. Here is the link on how Europe was raped by the Jews."
She then shared a link to an 11-hour "documentary" titled EUROPA: The Last Battle, one of a plethora of conspiracy theory films on the web.
She spoke about "Jewish Bolshevism" and "the Rothschilds", Jews striving for "new world order", and Jews controlling the media.
Kriel was a brand ambassador for fitness brand PSN Lifestyle after the company ended the deal after complaints from the public about her comments.
Kriel's Instagram page appeared to have been deactivated at the time of publication.
(Compiled by Molefe Seeletsa)
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