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Minister of international relations and co-operation Naledi Pandor. File photo: SYDNEY SESHIBEDI
Minister of international relations and co-operation Naledi Pandor. File photo: SYDNEY SESHIBEDI

In her recent address to the Palestinian African Heads of Mission in Africa Conference, international relations and co-operation minister Naledi Pandor launched a vicious attack on Israel, describing that country as the greatest abuser of human rights on the planet. 

In the face of some other “minor” human rights violations around the world, the minister focused entirely on one country whose very existence is an affront to her and her ANC colleagues. 

As recently as March, Saudi Arabia — a country with which the ANC maintains warm relations — publicly executed 81 people in a single day by beheading. That same month, the ANC president was due to visit there but had to postpone for a later date. One wonders if Pandor knows when the last election was held in that kingdom?

An Iranian court recently sentenced three people to be blinded in one eye under that “civilised” country’s retribution law. This sentence of gouging out an eye of an offender is not a first in that country — Iran applies “an eye for an eye” literally. 

Needless to say, the ANC maintains warm relations with Iran, a country where a goat enjoys more human rights than a woman, and one that constantly threatens to annihilate another member of the UN family of nations by means of the nuclear weapon it is developing.

While Amnesty International and other rights groups condemn such punishment as cruel and tantamount to torture, the honourable minister Pandor cannot find any words of condemnation for either Saudi Arabia or Iran’s abuses of human rights.

Allan Wolman, Tel Aviv, Israel

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