Naledi Pandor consistently treats SA Jewry with contempt – SAJBD

Board says minister has ostracised Jewish South Africans, while coddling Hamas

Naledi Pandor comment

18 March 2024

Over the last 5 months Minister Pandor has consistently treated SA Jewry with contempt.  A significant pattern has emerged showing incident after incident of vitriol, intimidation, and even threats against South Africa’s Jewish community. 

- Minister Pandor has repeatedly threatened South Africans who serve in the IDF with arrest, despite these individuals fulfilling a legal obligation to their cultural homeland, and a moral necessity to save hostages and prevent another atrocity like October 7th from happening again.

- Minister Pandor has expressed clear support for Hamas, a terrorist organisation who massacred, tortured, and sexually assaulted Israeli civilians on October 7th.

- The ANC, of which Pandor is a high-ranking member, hosted Hamas at its headquarters only two months after the mass murder and rape of Israelis on October 7th.

- Minister Pandor has refused to condemn the institutionalised and mass sexual violence perpetrated by Hamas on October 7th, and the ongoing sexual abuse against hostages. All this was confirmed in a UN report released earlier this month.

- Minister Pandor refuses to divulge information regarding her call of support to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh made just weeks after the 7 October massacre.

- Minister Pandor is yet to express any sympathy for the people of Israel after the attack, including for a South African grandmother who was in Israel visiting her newborn grandchild for the first time.

- Minister Pandor has harmed South Africans living in Israel by denying them consular support four months after the SA embassy there was suddenly closed without any contingency plans put in place.

- Minister Pandor reneged on promises made in a meeting with President Ramaphosa on 13 December to provide consular assistance to SA citizens desperately needing passports, visas, birth certificates and other crucial documents. Sixty passports and documents are still sitting with South Africa's Department of International Relations & Cooperation, awaiting distribution to South Africans stranded in Israel.

- At the 13 December meeting, Minister Pandor refused to greet representatives of South Africa’s Jewish community.

- Minister Pandor has made it clear that she will not engage with South Africa’s Jewish minority, thereby expressing a consistent disdain wholly unbefitting a senior government official whose duties include serving all citizens of our democracy. She has attacked, ridiculed and instigated a witch hunt against Jewish citizens.

Under the minister’s administration, South Africa has abandoned the ANC’s long-standing policy of engaging with all sides in the interests of bringing peace. Rather than doing the hard work that would give SA a meaningful role to play in creating a sustainable peace in the Middle East, she has chosen to grandstand on the international stage.

The ANC has always prided itself on being a broad tent that housed many diverse communities. 

The Jewish community will always remember Minister Pandor for making us feel unwelcome in that tent.

Issued by Karen Milner, National Chairperson, SAJBD, 18 March 2024