Last week the Israeli ambassador to Ethiopia presented his credentials to the chairman of the AU Commission, thus formalising the country's observer status, which will lead to stronger co-operation, including in the fight against the pandemic and preventing extremist terrorism in Africa.

This will surely put the noses of some SA politicians out of joint. Various ANC ministers have expressed open hostility towards the Jewish state for years, and continue to do so despite many African countries forging strong diplomatic relationships with Israel. SA seems to be one of only a handful of AU states holding such aggression, which is completely out of step not only with her African brothers but also some Arab states, which have recently established diplomatic relations with Israel. 

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte recently accused Israel of being involved in a plot to steal land in Africa, no doubt based on an investigation only she knew about and failed to share with AU members. Duarte ranted and raved recently at a rent-a-crowd “rally” outside the Israeli embassy, encouraging the crowd to boycott Israeli products such as Jacobs coffee, which is actually produced in Germany. 

Duarte and the ANC should hang their heads in shame given the tragic events of early July, when riots and looting broke out in SA, resulting in the death of almost 400 people. And what are state security officials doing to stem the carnage of taxi gang violence in Cape Town, where over 80 people have been killed in the past weeks? Very little. But Duarte and her ilk won’t hold back when a single Palestinian terrorist is killed perpetrating an attack on innocent civilians. 

There have been reports of the police raiding the homes of informal settlements and confiscating suspected looted goods, including food, if receipts cannot be produced. And of police breaking into homes where the occupants were not present and confiscating food and other goods they suspect of being looted. This, according to the reports, has happened only in the informal settlements, home to the poorest of the poor. The police are there to “recover” looted goods now, but were “working from home” during the riots and destruction two weeks back.

How can such iniquity be sanctioned by a government claiming to intent on ensuring a “better life for all”? Is the government so heartless and indifferent as to allow such abuse in a democratic SA? 

Almost every political commentator, newspaper editor, journalist and opposition party has condemned the ANC leadership and called for the dismissal of inept ministers. The consensus permeating in the country is that the looting of earlier this month fades by comparison to the looting of ANC cadres, as was exposed by evidence presented to the Zondo state capture commission.

Allan Wolman

Tel Aviv

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