Clarification on remarks made in relation to Israel
11 June 2018
I have noted a number of statements about remarks I made over the weekend in relation to Israel.
I wish to stress that I expressed the DA's belief in freedom, fairness, opportunity for all, and diversity which is important to embrace in a complex city such as Johannesburg.
The Department of Social Development is currently doing work with organizations from all backgrounds and will continue to foster social cohesion at a local level.
The migration unit in Social Development initiates engagements with different countries through the Diplomatic Corps, to help build social cohesion in the city, which attracts over 3000 migrants a month from various countries around the world. Migration is a complex issue in Johannesburg and has necessitated this type of approach which accommodates all people and seeks to foster peace and social cohesion.
I wish to stress that the remarks where an expression of my personal views and I recognise that they do not represent the views of the City of Johannesburg or the Democratic Alliance, which I serve.
It is the DA’s official position that we support a two state solution, with a secure Palestine and Israel living alongside each other in peace and prosperity. This is a position I fully support.
I sincerely regret and am sorry for any confusion my remarks have caused. I stand with the party in condemning all kinds of violence in the Middle East. I also regret that my remarks have been incorrectly taken to be setting international relations policy in the City of Johannesburg.
I remain committed to bringing change to the residents of our City and as a medical doctor, I remain dedicated to improving access to quality healthcare and social benefits to our poorest residents.
Issued by Mpho Phalatse, MMC for Health & Social Development, 11 June 2018