South Africa's International Relations Minister stays strong on Israel boycott
5 April 2019
Coinciding with the 15th international #IsraeliApartheidWeek, South Africa’s Minister of International Relations, Lindiwe Sisulu, has defended South Africa’s downgrade of relations with Israel.
Delivering her keynote address at the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) Sisulu took the opportunity to announce that “stage one” of the the downgrade of South Africa’s Embassy in Tel Aviv to a Liaison Office has been completed:
"Our Ambassador [to Israel] is back in South Africa and we will not be replacing him. Our liaison office in Tel Aviv will have no political mandate, no trade mandate and no development cooperation mandate. It will not be responsible for trade and commercial activities. The focus of the Liaison Office would be on consular and the facilitation of people-to-people relations.”
Sisulu further stated that South Africa’s governing party, the ANC, already has “no relations with Israel” and suggested that eventually Israel would no longer have an ambassador in South Africa. “The ANC’s position in relation to Israel is very clear. We have no relations with Israel. That’s what we would like the government to adopt as soon as possible,” Sisulu said. Click here for more info.
The human rights and Palestine solidarity organization BDS South Africa joins fellow civil society groups in welcoming the Minister’s speech, our government’s support for the Palestinian struggle and the governing party’s backing of the BDS boycott of Israel.
Issued by Tisetso Magama on behalf of BDS South Africa, 5 April 2019