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SAPS 'dumbfounded' over Mavi Mamara letter

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A tit-for-tat spat between pro- and anti-Israel lobby groups over the validity of arrest warrants in SA for four Israeli generals who were instrumental in Israel’s military preventing the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara from breaking the Gaza blockade. Independent claimed that should they enter SA, they would be arrested. On Monday SAPS spokesman Brigadier Mangwani Malaudzi confirmed To JR he was “dumbfounded” when the letter over the six-and-a-half-year-old incident surfaced at an obscure SAPS unit.
by ANT KATZ | Nov 23, 2015

Malaudzi says, while he was correctly quoted as saying it “is being processed… for compliance”, this was a lengthy process, involved multiple agencies in numerous countries - and certainly did not mean anything had changed now, or would in the future.

The current back-and-forth was sparked last week after South Africa’s Independent Media Group and their website IOL, published a story claiming that the Hawks had said they would arrest any of the four heads of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), for their role in the attack on the Mavi Marmara aid flotilla to Gaza in 2010.

Independent based their story on what was said to be an official letter written by an SAPS official, whose name the source of the story said they were “not at liberty to disclose”.

Jewish Report managed to establish from the Hawks that the story had been ''MALICIOUS GOSSIP'' which was published last Tuesday.

Independent’s group foreign editor Shannon Ebrahim then published a front page, Cape Times story headlined: “Israeli military chiefs face arrest in SA” on Thursday November 19, which was quickly followed up by a multitude of statements from anti-Israel lobby groups.

A prominent Jewish organisational pundit, who asked not to be named, told Jewish Report: “Suspiciously, links to this story were circulated suddenly by numerous anti-Israel lobby groups” that same morning. The SA arm of the US-based NGO Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (against Israel), (BDS-SA) and the Media Review Network (MRN) were among them.

Independent based their story on what was said to be an official letter written by a SAPS official, whose name the source of the story they were “not at liberty to disclose”.

Mavi2Jewish Report managed to establish from the Hawks that the story had beenwhich was published last Tuesday.

Independent’s group foreign editor (read more about her, below story), Shannon Ebrahim, then published “Israeli military chiefs face arrest in SA” on Thursday November 19, which was quickly followed up by a multitude of statements from anti-Israel lobby groups.

Suspicious

A prominent Jewish organisational pundit, who asked not to be named, told Jewish Report: “Suspiciously, links to this story were circulated suddenly by numerous anti-Israel lobby groups” that same morning. The SA arm of the US-based NGO Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (against Israel), (BDS-SA) and the Media Review Network (MRN) published partial retractions of their statements.

On November 20, SA Zionist Federation National Chairman Ben Swartz hit back and PUBLICLY CHALLENGED INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS to, essentially, put up or shut up as they continued to withhold sources and evidence and after he, too, had been told by the Hawks personally that they were not aware of the letter.

mavi3


LEFT: The May 2010 spat with the IDF


Last Sunday, November 22, IOL published a story sourced from African News Agency titled “Tiff over Turkey arrest warrants report” on the ongoing tit-for-tat spat between the pro- and anti-Israel lobbyists, in which they suggested that it was now an Interpol warrant that had been issued by Turkey.

“SAPS confirms pledge to arrest Israeli 4” was then posted on Monday morning by Ebrahim, who wrote: “On Sunday, SAPS Brigadier Hangwani Malaudzi confirmed” in writing that the letter which the SAPS had issued on this matter “is being processed to the relevant section for compliance”.


Brig: 'I was also dumbfounded'

Jewish Report on Monday morning spoke to Brig Malaudzi who confirmed that a letter had emerged. He was also “dumbfounded”, when the letter finally surfaced, he said. It had been the SAPS’ “Crime Against the State Unit” he told SA Jewish Report.

Mavi2


RIGHT: The Mavi Marmara leaves port for Gaza


However, says Brig Malaudzi, Ibrahim’s quote that he had said the letter “is being processed to the relevant section for compliance,” did not mean that the generals would be arrested if they entered SA now, or, maybe, ever.

It had been somewhat misleading.

The matter was “now being taken to Interpol”, Malaudzi told SAJR. The original letter had been issued by Interpol and Malaudzi said this morning that, as an Interpol member, SA still had to establish the veracity and validity of the document from the “Interpol mother body”.

The process to be followed

Jewish Report on Monday morning spoke to Brig Malaudzi who confirmed that a letter had emerged. He was also “dumbfounded”, when the letter finally surfaced, he said. It had been the SAPS’ “Crime Against the State Unit” he told SA Jewish Report.

If Interpol confirms the document is still valid, said Malaudzi, SAPS would still have to go through a series of processes and “deal with bodies such as the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority), DOJ (Department of Justice), DIRCO (Department of International Relations and Co-operation), etc, before making a decision regarding any action they may take.

“All of these procedures still have to be complied with” before anyone could say whether arrests might be made, he said.



 

Related reads on SAJR Online:

 

 

  • Shannon Ebrahim is the group foreign editor for Independent Media Group. Before joining Independent Media, she worked as an International Affairs Consultant for Al Jazeera and Your Middle East, she has also been: director for Asylum Seeker Management in the Department of Home Affairs; Project Manager: East Africa and the Middle East for the National Intelligence Co-ordinating Committee and she served in the Presidential Support Unit, specialising in conflict in Africa and the Middle East. She was educated in Canada and is married to immediate past-deputy minister of DIRCO, Ibrahim Ibrahim.

 


What was the Mavi Marmara? 

Mavi1LEFT: The Turkish ship Mavi Marmara was part of a flotilla of six civilian ships which sailed from Turkey on May 31, 2010, trying to break an Israeli blockade of Gaza. It was the only ship in the flotilla which refused Israeli military instructions not to proceed - and was thus boarded by Israeli naval commandos. Some 40 of the 590 passengers put up a fight. Nine - eight Turkish nationals and a Turkish American died. A tenth one died some four years later, having been in a coma. Ten of the Israelis commandos were injured, one seriously, as they were attacked on boarding. It put tremendous strain on Israeli-Turkish relationships.


The Process
The Process

1 Comment

  1. 1 BDS WORKS 23 Nov
    Mr Editor

    HAWKS INSTRUCTED TO ARREST ISRAELI COMMANDERS IF THEY ENTER SA

    JOHANNESBURG – The Hawks have now confirmed they’ve received a letter from Turkish authorities asking that they arrest four Israeli Defence Force commanders if they enter South Africa. 

    The Hawks denied last week they had any knowledge of the request.

    The four commanders are wanted in Turkey for their involvement in a deadly raid on an aid flotilla in 2010 which was bound for Gaza.

    The Hawks’ Hangwani Mulaudzi says, “Following thorough consultation, we can confirm now that that letter has been received. It will be processed through our internal channels to Interpol for further processing.”

    Mulaudzi explains that the letter was not sent exclusively to South Africa, but to all Interpol member states.

    “Once they have received it we will have to conform to the request that has been made.”

    http://ewn.co.za/2015/11/23/Hawks-instructed-to-arrest-Israeli-commanders-if-they-enter-SA

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