Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: South Africa’s ambassador to Israel ‘violating government policy’

The ambassador reportedly says his embassy has ‘a lot of plans for visits’ in Israel and was exerting ‘pressure’ on Pretoria to send ministers to Israel. South Africa’s Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel organisation has lashed out at South Africa’s ambassador to Israel, accusing him of behaving disrespectfully and violating government policy towards Israel. Ngombane is at odds with South African government policy of no travel to Israel for SA government officials. President Jacob Zuma reminded political leaders earlier this year: “We reiterate that we discourage travel to Israel for ANC leaders, members and representatives for business and leisure purposes.” In clear contradiction, the ambassador, speaking to the Times of Israel, said he was hoping Zuma would feel in his second term that he needed to see ways to engage, not from afar and not from a distance. The ambassador went on to explain that his embassy had “a lot of plans for visits”, and was exerting “pressure” on Pretoria to send ministers to Israel.



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