Veteran journalist Allister Sparks ruffled some feathers when he listed a few of the "smart politicians" he had met during his 64-year career. Of those was Hendrick Verwoerd.
PORT ELIZABETH - The public has reacted strongly to South African writer and political commentator Allister Sparks&39; comments about Verwoerd.
Sparks expressed his admiration for the apartheid architect&39;s "smarts" while speaking at the Democratic Alliance&39;s Federal Congress.
He said Verwoerd, like outgoing DA leader Helen Zille, was a smart politician.
Sparks said he had known Zille for 44 years and seen her transition from a dedicated journalist to a good politician.
The comment caused a massive backlash on social networks such as Twitter.
Allister Sparks. . . Oh my word. The stupidity in that comment— Kamva Somdyala (@Kamva_Somdyala) May 9, 2015
Allister Sparks&39; list of smart politicians includes Hendrick Verwoed. Mcebo Dlamini admires Hitler. DACongress— Scapegoat (@andiMakinana) May 9, 2015
.@MmusiMaimane are you also shocked like some of us by Allister Sparks listing good politicians that are all white including Verwoerd?— Eusebius McKaiser (@Eusebius) May 9, 2015
Alister Sparks saying Verwoerd was a good politician. I think he&39;s scoping to be head of the WITS SRC.— Chester Missing (@chestermissing) May 9, 2015
Allister Sparks&39; listing of Verwoerd as smart is horrible. Unlike MceboDlamini , he was here & stood up against apartheid. This? Moronic.— Justice Malala (@justicemalala) May 9, 2015