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SA Organisations

Above Board - Law and civil society

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An issue that has particularly gripped our country over the past few weeks concerned the charges brought against Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan by the National Prosecuting Authority. Serious concern was expressed over the timing and motivations behind this move, and no doubt we have not seen the end of the story, despite the case having now been formally withdrawn.
by JEFF KATZ | Nov 03, 2016

On being approached for comment, the Board said that it echoed and endorsed the many statements that have been made in support of Minister Gordhan from across the political spectrum. Minister Gordhan, we said, is “a public servant of outstanding integrity, dedication and expertise”, and we salute him for the outstanding work he is doing in addressing the many complex challenges facing our country’s economy.

In the end, the outcome can be seen as having been another demonstration of the supremacy of the rule of law, the strength of our civil society and the role and importance of our free and independent media

The SAJBD has absolute faith in our democratic institutions and importantly in our judiciary’s ability to protect our constitutionally enshrined democratic rights and freedoms. These have been left standing tall in the wake of the Gordhan affair, and as a result South Africa is a much better place than it was six weeks ago.

Arguably the most traumatic academic year in the history of higher education in this country is drawing to a close, with students around the country - how many, at this stage is uncertain - preparing to sit their exams. I wish all our Jewish students, as well as all other students who will be writing under less than ideal circumstances, success. 

The SA Union of Jewish Students - SAUJS - performs a crucial role in representing the Jewish student body on key university campuses and wherever necessary working with the respective administrations and the SAJBD in addressing problems that arise.

I congratulate incoming SAUJS National Chairman Gabi Zollman and his committee on their recent election and look forward to working with them in the coming year. I further congratulate and thank immediate past SAUJS chairman, Dani Hovsha, for all her outstanding work, including the valuable input she has made at SAJBD Gauteng Council and National Executive Committee meetings.

In addition to broader safety and security challenges, one of the major concerns we have had, has been the potential for the racially-charged rhetoric of the #FeesMustFall movement spilling over into overt anti-Semitism.

To an extent, this has occurred on occasion, most recently with the plastering of anti-Semitic graffiti at Wits earlier this week. We have been in communication with the Wits administration to ensure that the graffiti was removed and steps taken to find the perpetrators and prosecute them.

In a press statement, we condemned the racist invective that had often surfaced during the #FeesMustFall protests and urged that legitimate causes such as this one not be sullied by hateful rhetoric against other South Africans.     

  • Listen to Charisse Zeifert on Jewish Board Talk, 101.9 ChaiFM every Friday 12:00-13:00

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