UPDATE: Sparks causes fire with Verwoerd comments

WEB_PHOTO_ALLISTERSPARKS_DACONGRESS_09052015

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.

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.

WEB_PHOTO_ALLISTERSPARKS_DACONGRESS_09052015

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.

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.