Home South African ‘Go home’: ANC wants Israeli ambassador to pack his bags and leave

‘Go home’: ANC wants Israeli ambassador to pack his bags and leave

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South Africa’s ruling ANC has “congratulated” the government on the withdrawal of South Africa’s diplomats from Israel, but the party insists that the Israeli ambassador to South Africa must be instructed to leave.

The ANC’s international relations sub-committee deputy chairperson, Obed Bapela. File picture

SOUTH Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) has “congratulated” the government on the withdrawal of South Africa’s diplomats from Israel, but the party insists that Israeli ambassador to South Africa Eliav Belotserkovsky must be instructed to leave.

The ANC’s international relations sub-committee deputy chairperson, Obed Bapela, speaking to broadcaster Newzroom Afrika on Tuesday, said the ruling party has told government to expel Belotserkovsky.

“The ANC as an organisation has called on government to do exactly that … his behaviour and conduct has also been worrying. I know that there will be processes by the Department of International Relations and Co-operation on how to do it, but he has to go until there is a ceasefire [in Gaxza]. That is what we are calling for as the African National Congress, we are unambiguous about it. He has to go,” said Bapela emphatically.

He said the communication will be articulated to the ANC deployees in government that Belotserkovsky must leave.

“The discussion took place yesterday at the working committee and there is a special NEC (national executive council) meeting today – definitely that message will be articulated and given to our deployees – that the ambassador of Israel should go, for so long as the carnage, the bombing and the killing continues. He must just go home and they will then see when they cease fire what will be the new elements and arrangements,” said Bapela.

On Monday, it was reported that during a post-Cabinet media briefing, the Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, described Belotserkovsky’s position and presence as becoming “very untenable” following his alleged comments.

Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni. File picture: Jacques Naude, Independent Newspapers

“Cabinet has decided to instruct Dirco to take necessary measures within the diplomatic channels and protocols to deal with the conduct of the ambassador of Israel to South Africa. We leave it to Dirco to decide what will be done with the ambassador. He is a guest in our country and must conduct himself as a guest, and he has no right,” she said without divulging further details.

Approached for comment, the embassy of Israel in Pretoria said: “There has not been any further developments that the Embassy wishes to add in this regard.”

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