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LETTER :SA needs new visa policy for Palestinians

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International relations & co-operation minister Dr Naledi Pandor owes South Africans, but especially Palestinians, an explanation for why SA operates a discriminatory visa regime towards the inhabitants of historic Palestine.

Pertinently, Israeli passport holders do not require a visa to enter SA, whereas Palestinian Authority passport holders must satisfy a slew of stringent conditions before a visa can be issued.

Admittedly this visa policy of our government precedes Dr Pandor’s appointment to the present portfolio. However, it boggles the mind that successive foreign ministers of our human rights championing government since 1994 have had no compunction about operating such an iniquitous and unjust visa policy.

Our government officials repeatedly expresses solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for justice, but unfortunately the rhetoric in this case is not matched with concomitant practice.

I appeal to Dr Pandor to act promptly to institute a new visa policy that is fair, one that most certainly does not favour the oppressor over the oppressed.

Gunvant  Govindjee