Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni.
- Government has distanced itself from rumours that a delegation from Hamas could possibly be attending an event in South Africa.
- Media statements have been circulating that a delegation from Hamas will be in the country between 2 and 5 December.
- This is to attend the fifth global convention of Solidarity with Palestine.
Government has nothing to do with an event where a
delegation from Hamas could possibly be in attendance.
Rumours have been doing the rounds that a three-member team
of Hamas is expected to attend the fifth global
convention of Solidarity with Palestine.
It’s not clear where the event will be held, but it’s
scheduled to take place between 2 and 5 December.
On Thursday, Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni
briefed the media on the outcomes of a Cabinet meeting held earlier in the
The presence of individuals in the country… we don’t have a Hamas office in South Africa. I don’t have that evidence. But there is no United Nations Declaration that classifies Hamas as a terrorist organisation. If organisation and groups are classified as terrorists, they must be done so by the United Nations otherwise, the ANC wouldn’t be declared a terrorist organisation because the apartheid regime called us that.
South Africa’s position on the war between Israel and Hamas
has been called into question on several occasions.
This follows after International Relations and Cooperation
Minister Naledi Pandor was criticised for holding a phone call with the leader
of Hamas just 10 days after the Palestinian militant group launched a deadly
attack on Israel on 7 October.
South Africa laid a charge against Israel for war crimes at
the International Criminal Court (ICC) and plans to petition the International
Court of Justice (ICJ) to declare it an apartheid state.
On 17 November, South Africa, along with the Comoros,
Djibouti, Bolivia, and Bangladesh, jointly referred the situation in Palestine
and Israel to the ICC.
ICC prosecutor Karim Khan said in a statement his office had
received the referral and confirmed his office was investigating the situation
In Parliament, the National Assembly passed an amended
motion that South Africa’s diplomatic relations with Israel should be
Several parties, most notably the EFF, have used this motion
to advocate for the complete severing of ties with Israel.
The parties that expressed their opposition to the motion
during last week’s debate – the DA, IFP, FF Plus, and ACDP – also opposed the
amendment with a similar argument: that closing the Israeli embassy would leave
South Africa without influence as a potential peace broker.
Government has made it clear though that there has been no
decision to close its embassy in Israel.