Women’s Boat to Gaza welcomes and supports the call of Mr Masango, chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, for an investigation into allegations made against the South African Ambassador to Israel.
His call for such an investigation comes after the Deputy Minister of International Relations, Mr Luwellyn Landers, told Parliament’s portfolio committee that Mr Sisa Ngombane should be recalled after making statements at a press conference that clearly conflict with South African state policy.
The press conference in question was to mark the return of Leigh-Ann Naidoo, who had participated in this year’s Freedom Flotilla – a campaign which aims to draw attention to the ongoing and inhumane blockade on the Gaza strip.
The Zaytouna-Oliva, carrying Leigh-Ann and other peaceful international activists on their way to Gaza, was intercepted by Israeli forces in international waters and redirected to Ashdod. Those on the boat were imprisoned in Givon jail facilities.
Though South Africa, like most other countries, does not recognise this maritime blockade as legal, the Ambassador Mr Ngombane made little effort to assist Ms Naidoo during her illegal capture and detention.
Since the Ambassador, due to unrelated arrangements, happened to be on the same flight as the one on which Ms Naidoo was deported, he was invited to the press conference that was held, on her return, at the airport.
Mr Ngombane, at this conference, did not comment on Israel’s illegal and inhumane siege of Gaza, nor on the illegal interception of the Zaytouna-Oliva and the state kidnapping of the activists on board.
‘Instead, to the confusion of all present, he used the platform to justify Israel’s 2014 attack on Gaza. Contradicting both the weight of evidence, and official government policies on the matter, he reverted to the Israeli narrative according to which the the kidnapping of three teenagers on the West Bank had been responsible for the massive carnage that followed.’
Though this follows Israel’s own claim, South Africa has officially rejected such specious forms of justification.
Ambassador Ngombane’s questionable stance and bias in favour of Israel makes him unworthy to represent South Africa’s interests.
We therefore welcome a probe into his conduct, and urge the South African government to heed the call by Mr Landers to have him recalled without delay.
Issued by WBG
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