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South African Leaders Arrive in Israel to Show Support

March 27, 2024

by: Itamar Eichner ~ Ynetnews

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Several South African leaders showed their support for Israel in a recent visit (illustrative).

Wednesday, 27 March 2024 | Following tensions between Israel and South Africa over the Gaza war and accusations that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians in the coastal strip, 14 representatives from the country, including religious and community leaders, arrived in Israel on Monday for a special visit during which they toured southern Israel and saw the Nova Music Festival site. On Tuesday, the representatives visited the Knesset [parliament].

The visit was organized by the Israeli advocacy group DiploAct, together with the South Africa Friends of Israel [SAFI] organization. The visit is aimed at showing solidarity with the State of Israel and for the officials to distance themselves from the decisions of the South African government. Members of the delegation clarified that they are ashamed of their government’s decision and statements against Israel.

During their visit, the representatives will meet with the hostages’ families, Israeli officials and community leaders, in addition to touring significant religious and historical sites in the country.

One of the members of the delegation, Bhelekazi Mabandla, who descends from the South African royal line, said: “As a South African, I don’t support my government’s decision. It’s very sad that the South African government has taken this path instead of choosing one of dialogue, reconciliation and peace,” he said.

South African Parliament member Marie Sukers added: “The apartheid and genocide narrative adopted by the African National Congress [ANC] completely ignores South Africa’s Christian population—which has strong ties with Israel—and the significance of our story in this conflict. It is very sad to see that the South African leadership has forgotten what prevented a civil war in our country.”

Bafana Modise, a veteran radio host in South Africa, spoke during the delegation’s visit to the Nova Music Festival site. “I find it difficult to understand how my government defends those who murdered 400 youth at a party for no reason. We have parties in South Africa. I don’t want to think that such a horrible thing would happen to us. I’m ashamed this is my government’s decision.

“Our leaders hosted Hamas leaders who are behind such a horrible murder of 400 people who came here to dance. It’s outrageous,” he added. “I can’t imagine what the people who were here to dance were going through. What they did to you is genocide, not what you did to Hamas. We were here and we saw it with our own eyes, and when we go home, we will speak of what we saw.

“South Africa was exploited to play politics at the expense of human lives. We must tell the truth. This is an insult to the legacy of Nelson Mandela and our freedom fighters who have never murdered people at music festivals,” he asserted.

“We support peace, dialogue and coexistence, but terrorism is terrorism. Evil is evil. What we saw here is absolute evil. We’re not willing to have our government speak on our behalf. They can’t exploit our government to justify terrorism, evil and such atrocities,” he concluded.

DiploAct head Amit Deri said that “while some cower close to evil and terror, there are some courageous ones who stand by Israel in its just war against Hamas. We thank the South African community and parliamentarian leaders for their choice to come here and support us. We’ll continue to fight anti-Israeli propaganda and boycott organizations when and wherever needed.”

Posted on March 27, 2024

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on March 26, 2024. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Katangais/

Photo License: Wikimedia