By Mark Benson
ON May 14 2018 President Ramaphosa recalled the South African ambassador to Israel after at least 59 Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli forces during protests over the US embassy opening in Jerusalem.
“Given the indiscriminate and grave manner of the latest Israeli attack, the South African government has taken a decision to recall Ambassador Sisa Ngombane with immediate effect until further notice,” South Africa’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
This apparently smart human decision caused harsh criticism from the main South African opposition party the Democratic Alliance (DA). Stevens Mokgalapa, the DA’s shadow minister of international relations, insisted that the move will allegedly impede on South Africa’s role as a “mediator” between the Palestinians and Israelis.
But do the DA’s leaders really mean what was stated above? The answer would be negative if to recall that under the leadership of Helen Zille, the DA was openly pursuing a strong “hands-off” policy regarding Israel.
Let’s not forget about close relations which are maintained by her successor Mmusi Maimane with the Israelis. It’s worth to remind in this context that he headed a DA’s delegation to visit Israel in January 2017. And I doubt that an official explanation of Maimane’s alleged discussions of business ties with the Jewish government had satisfied somebody.
But it’s not big secret that the real goal of that visit was to beg for a new portion of financial assistance. Otherwise, why did the DA try to keep the trip under wraps at the beginning? And why didn’t Maimane meet the officials of the Palestinian autonomy during the visit?
In other words the DA is merely pretending to have interest in a fair solution of Palestinian issue. But in reality its hidden agenda is to protect Zionist interests in South Africa.
After all mentioned above the question arose on what inspired the South African President to defend Maimane. On May 8, Ramaphosa said the ANC would stand by Maimane, who is facing serious criticism from the DA, for allegedly uttering racist statements. He told party supporters in his Freedom Day commemoration speech that South Africans had to confront ‘white privilege and black poverty’.
The statement did not go well with some party members. The DA’s chief whip John Steenhuisen, his deputy Mike Waters and notorious MP Natasha Mazzone raised concerns over the impact of Maimane’s utterances on white voters ahead of next year’s general elections in the country.
Ramaphosa, however, supported Maimane saying “South Africans need to acknowledge that what is being said about racial discrimination indeed did happen; white privilege and black poverty should be consigned to the past. We will be the first to defend Mmusi Maimane against those in his own party, who want to deny the reality of racial inequality in South Africa.”
The move by Ramaphosa deserves the highest grade for the following reasons. First, he responded to the very sensitive issue with complete sincerity. Second, the President did not get scared to support his political rival.
This is a clear sign of Ramaphosa’s generosity, wisdom and maturity as a statesman. It also shows that the ANC made a right decision to choose him as a head of state. Moreover, the mentioned steps of Ramaphosa indicate that he is consistently adhered to the principles and directions elaborated by the ruling party in internal and external policies.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015