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Annual rivalry moved online big time in 2016

The annual tussle between Israel’s antagonists and protagonists during Israel Apartheid Week was very much an online event this week, largely ignored by the mainstream media and, for the first two days at least, resoundingly won by the Jewish students of SAUJS and their ever-supportive friends from DEISI. And a great deal of support from the community at large. Here are the highlights and low-lights of Tuesday and Wednesday as well as LINKS TO ALL STORIES POSTED ON SAJR





The annual battle over Israel Apartheid Week (IAW) – where opposing sides, the SA Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS) leading Israel Awareness Week and the US-based NGO Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (Israel) in South Africa (BDS-SA) leading Israel Apartheid Week – was again “fought” on South African university campuses this week.

Despite the heckling on the ground, and the tussle between the “warring” parties for victory in the press and on social media, remarkably few incidents of violence have been reported.

IAW16On Monday there was one incident that could have turned ugly on the UCT campus in Cape Town after an Israeli Druze speaker, Riad Hassoun, together with a group of SAUJS students, were verbally harassed after Hassoun spoke there.

On Tuesday (see video on on the Wits campus – marring an otherwise peaceful day – while SAUJS representatives were putting up posters from their #SeeIsraelForYourself campaign, they were accosted by BDS supporters who had been following them and pulling the posters down.

 Not satisfied with their “guerrilla” efforts, the BDS supporters then tried to steal and run off with the posters.

One of the SAUJS students cleverly put the posters down on the ground and lay on top of them so that the BDS supporters could not grab them. The latter resorted to trying to destroy all the posters by tearing as much as they could off of each, while the second SAUJS supporter shot the video. Restraint on the part of SAUJS was all that saved it from becoming a violent incident.

Some of the other more noteworthy events from campuses around South Africa include:

Some of Tuesday’s highlights included:

  • iaw16b Prof Mohammed DajaniProfessor Mohammed Dajani (PICTURED LEFT) – the well-known Palestinian former tutor at Al Quds University who left his post last June after months of intimidation over a field trip he had organised to Auschwitz, spoke on the Wits library lawns on Tuesday evening. “We had a great turnout,” SAUJS National Chairman Dani Hovsha told Jewish Report Online on Wednesday.
  • The DailyVox website, which had been sponsored for the week by Dubai-based 24-hour news channel AlJazeera (as IAW was largely ignored by the mainstream media), fell foul of a group of concerned Israel Awareness Week  supporters who bought all the ad space on DailyVox’s home page on Tuesday. (By Wednesday morning, the home page was advert-free and the website explained on their Twitter site why they had taken this action – blaming it on “Zionist interference”.)
  • Black students were upset by the fact that when BDS chose to hang two mannequins on the campus – one on a make-shift gallows and one from a tree (pictured) – they had chosen to use black mannequins. In the morning, “SAUJS were on that one like a rash,” says Hovsha, placing signs on the hung figures which read: “In Palestine, if you sell land to a Jew you can be hanged!” By the afternoon the infuriated group of black students had ripped them down.


Some of Wednesday’s scheduled events:

  • The leadership and members of the virulently pro-Zionist Lemba Christian Church were slated to attend the Wits event to show their solidarity.
  • Winton Stewart who runs campus outreach programmes in the US was scheduled to talk at Wits.
  • One of the star attractions for the BDS side at Wits on Wednesday was a talk by Doron Isaacs
  • Also speaking for SAUJS at Wits on Wednesday was the Israeli Druze speaker, Riad Hassoun, who had been almost accosted at UCT on Monday.
  • No new incidents of unrest were reported from any campuses at the time of the print edition of Jewish Report going to press on Wednesday afternoon.

Users can follow continuing coverage on the website daily, or as they happen.  See images below the following links:

Other stories around the campus event of 2016:

Don’t miss this one – The video that is the subject of a Wits enquiry after BDS students were nailed on video destroying SAUJS’ posters and swearing that they would not allow any Zionist material on campus. With luck, Wits management will decide that these two culprits are not allowed on campus! Also read about the SAUJS media campaign which has won the day for them.

Read about days two and three of the annual IAW rivalry which moved online big time in 2016 and see some of the elements of the campaign on all of these stories.

In Rolene Marks’  new blog posted on JR Online on Tuesday, titled: Special salute: Israel’s sisters are doing it for themselves! – Rolene says: “Naturally, women’s rights are a favourite target for those wishing to paint Israel as a discriminatory, pariah state.” Anyone who knows Rolene, an expat South African communications expert and writer who, with her husband and kids, made aliyah several years ago, will tell you that, outside of family, she has two great passions: Israeli rights and women’s rights. Which explains one of her most commonly-used mantras: “We deserve a salute – and a fabulous pair of shoes!”

In a letter to BDS, Zionist Federation Chairman Ben Swartz writes a tongue-in-cheek letter thanking BDS for helping Israel and the world to promote the Zionist cause, and castigating them for what they are not helping to do. If you don’t have a good laugh at Thank you, BDS, for making us stronger, you must be a member of BDS! But, whether you laugh or cry at what Ben has to say to BDS, you will come out on the other side of it far better informed about the anti-Israel lobby group’s activities.

In South African Christian Zionist advocate Willie Patterson’s IAW ‘silly season’ in full swing globally he writes: “The annual worldwide BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign is in full swing during the month of March.” Patterson, an ardent Christian Zionist, points out that the various programs are cleverly designed “in an effort to brand Israel as an Apartheid state.”

Although some individuals in the ANC support the BDS movement, says Patterson, the SA government refrains from publicly supporting them. In fact, the government never stopped trade relations with Israel. This statement, while true, is somewhat reduced by Board slams ANC over support for IAW, BDS posted on this website yesterday.

Last week saw BDS winning Round #1 when they hijacked the Library Lawns and started IAW a week early. Granted, Wits did try to stop it (read Wits management adopt tough stand on BDS and Stand-off after ‘BDS-inspired Wits subterfuge’ published on JR Online last week) – but management’s efforts to meet their promises turned out to be fruitless and the demonstration continued unabated.

Readers can follow our continuing coverage on the website:

While Jewish Report has contacts on all the major campuses and will be updating readers and users regularly, anyone who has pictures or news can send them to
The pictures in and below this – and all other linked articles – are free-to-use for Israel advocates as long as they are credited to SAUJS or the SA Jewish Report.

IAW16b Golda

ABOVE: One of the posters in the Rights series – in this case women’s rights are highlighted by Israel having been one of the first countries in the world to have a female prime minister, Golda Meir 

iaw16 poster Indian wedding full
ABOVE: Another of the posters in the Rights series – this one focusing of freedom of religion 
IAW16-Madiba poster1
ABOVE: One of the Madiba series of famous quotes on Israel and/or South African Jewry whom he held very close to his heart 

IAW16-Madiba poster
ABOVE: Presidents Mandela and Peres on one of the “Went to Israel, Saw for For Himself” series of posters

iaw16-Tweet #1 FULL

ABOVE: This is one of the social media posts that have been doing the rounds this week. All in all SAUJS created 44 social media images that they have had teams posting out  

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  1. nat cheiman

    Mar 10, 2016 at 10:12 am

    ‘No contest in the brains department.

    The BDS and allies, are devoid and bankrupt in logic and brains.

    However the Hassan Bek mosque in Tel Aviv shocked me. RIGID

    In fact Israel has been too lenient.

    Angola has declared Islam a cult. The process of dismantling mosques has started.’

  2. Mordechai

    Mar 11, 2016 at 3:07 am

    ‘Hi Ant,

    It appears from your article that you hold Mandela to be this great men who was a friend of Israel and wanted Israel to make peace with the Palestinians. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mandela was an enemy of Israel, who from the time he was released from prison compared Israel to Apartheid South Africa. His closest allies were Israels sworn enemies, Libya, Iran, Arafat. He gave Louis Farakan an official audience at his Houghton home, and visited the Libyan convicted of the Lockabee bombing in prison. Please please dont hold a man who hasted Israel and did everything he could to undermine it credability, and hold him out to be what he was not. 

  3. Mordechai

    Mar 11, 2016 at 3:10 am

    ‘The way South African Jews idiolise Mandela, a man who  was an enemy of the Jewish state of Israel, makes my blood boil. The fact that he allowed South African Jews to continue living their white privliged lives is no reason for the community to have \”worshipped\” this man.

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What really happened in Israel this week



It’s just gone 03:00 in the morning on Wednesday, 12 May. I’m hunkering down in a bomb shelter which doubles up as my study in Tel Aviv. I’ve checked a few times that the iron door and window are tightly shut. I can hear the sirens screeching overhead, followed by a pause, and then a massive explosion.

Just a few hours ago, I was outside on the streets, which are eerily quiet for this busy city.

An earlier night-time drive into neighbouring Holon was even more unusual. A main thoroughfare was cordoned off by police and firemen who were shouting into their cell phones and at each other. Half an hour earlier, a rocket had hit an empty bus and debris was lying everywhere. The glass windows of nearby shops had been completely shattered, and residents were coming to assess the damage. Four people are being treated in hospital, one of them a five-year-old girl.

It’s been chaotic since last Friday night, when clashes erupted outside the Al Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem. For five consecutive nights, the pattern has been pretty much the same. Muslim worshippers make their way into the Old City through Damascus Gate while outside, Israeli police and the army take up position. There’s even a section where the journalists stand. After the prayers, a group of youngsters inevitably start hurling water bottles, rocks, and glass at the officers who after a while, respond by charging into the crowd, arresting some of the protestors, and firing stun grenades. It’s predictable.

Hamas, the rulers in Gaza, are egging on the protestors. The announcement by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that he was postponing Palestinian elections – the first in 15 years – indefinitely, and blaming Israel for it, didn’t help. Neither did the fact that this is happening during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a heightened time of religious sensitivity. It also comes after the Supreme Court was meant, on Monday, to give a ruling on the evictions of about 70 Palestinians from houses in the contested East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah that Jews say they owned before 1967. The court has delayed the announcement of its decision.

But still, the result is the worst violence in four years, and it has quickly spread to other Israeli Arab localities. The city of Lod just outside Tel Aviv is in lockdown. The Israeli army imposed a state of emergency after troops had to evacuate some Jewish residents amid clashes between Arabs and police and after buildings, including a synagogue, were set alight.

At the time of writing, five Israeli civilians and one soldier have been killed. The latter happened after Hamas fired an antitank missile at an Israeli jeep on Wednesday morning. One of the Israeli civilians killed was a pensioner who was too old to get to a shelter and who died alongside her Indian helper in their home.

Hamas has criticised Israel for trying to change the status quo in Jerusalem, but Israeli soldiers insist they are reacting only after coming under fire. They accuse Palestinian youngsters of shoring up stones, rocks, and homemade ammunition inside the Al Aqsa compound and attacking them with it.

But the international community is clearly more on the side of the Palestinians. Amnesty International has accused Israel of excessive force that I, as a journalist covering the protests, dispute. There are certainly some instances of the Israeli security forces manhandling and violently attacking protestors but on the whole, certainly outside Damascus Gate where I’ve been most of the week, it’s dangerous for the troops as they are provoked and hit with things that could seriously injure them if they weren’t wearing helmets.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he wouldn’t give in to rogue elements trying to disrupt Jerusalem, and in his latest speech has threatened that Hamas will pay a “dear price”.

I’m on the phone constantly with my colleagues in Gaza. One lives in the Hanadi Tower, a 13-storey residential building in Gaza city, that collapsed on Tuesday after Israeli air strikes targeted an office used by the political leadership of Hamas. An hour before the strike, residents were warned to leave their homes by the Israeli Defense Forces and hence there were no reports of injuries. But my colleague is now homeless.

I also have an Israeli friend who phoned me in tears. Her son is among the thousands of soldiers who have been called up to the Gaza border. It’s not yet clear if Israel plans a ground offensive but all options are on the table. Five thousand additional reserve troops have also been making their way to beef up the army in the southern Israeli communities and help those maintaining calm in Israeli cities across the country – Haifa, Ramle, Akko, Beer Sheva, and others.

While between 80% to 90% of rockets fired from Gaza – and to date there have been more than 1 200 in total – have been shot down by Israel’s anti-missile defence system, the Iron Dome, many Israeli civilians are choosing to move to the north out of harm’s way – hopefully.

Several of those I interviewed blame American President Joe Biden for the flare-up. After he took office in January, Biden expressed little interest in pursuing an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. He’s also been reluctant to get involved in the current conflict, but is being urged to do so. The clashes have caught his administration on the back foot. By comparison, the Trump administration showed unstinting support for Netanyahu and hostility towards the Palestinians.

“If Trump was in office now,” many Israelis tell me, “the Palestinians would be too scared to act like they are now. But they know Biden won’t do anything!”

Come tonight – and probably for the rest of the week – I’ll be sleeping in my bomb shelter, as will hundreds of thousands of Israelis. Gazans, too, will be hunkering down where they can find shelter. No-one wants another war; but then again no-one’s being asked.

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Mount Meron tragedy devastates South African family



Yohanatan Hevroni was so excited about going to Mount Meron for Lag B’Omer after not having been there for seven years, he arranged a bus for his community to get there. This time, he went as a beloved husband and the father of three girls. He wouldn’t return alive.

The 27-year-old tzaddik who lived in Givat Shmuel in central Israel leaves behind his children and wife, Tanya Hevroni (nee Taback), who made aliyah with her family from Johannesburg in 1997.

Hevroni was one of the 45 people who died senselessly in a stampede at the annual Mount Meron Lag B’Omer celebrations on Thursday, 29 April, the largest peacetime tragedy in Israel’s existence.

Speaking to the SA Jewish Report from the shiva house on Tuesday, 4 May, Tanya’s brother, Eitan Taback, described how events unfolded.

“A rabbi told us that on the way there, Yohanatan said how amazing it was to see the influence a tzaddik had after he had died [referring to Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, whose life is celebrated by thousands on Lag B’Omer at Mount Meron]. And after Yohanatan passed, we saw the amount of influence he had on everyone around him – the children he taught, people with whom he learned Torah.

“At 03:00 on Thursday night, Yohanatan’s mother got a phone call from his phone,” said Taback. “They said ‘his phone had been found in Meron, but we can’t find him’. Immediately, search parties were sent to hospitals and Meron itself. No one had any answers. After searching everywhere, they decided, with heavy hearts, to check the morgue, and that’s where they found him.”

Kalanit Taub, a volunteer emergency medical worker with United Hatzalah of Israel, described the devastation she encountered at the scene. “We saw stretcher after stretcher coming up the hill, with people performing CPR on them as they were running. I just saw bodies lying on the ground to my left and right. They all looked completely whole, completely fine, no broken bones, no blood. When we learned about [dealing with] a mass casualty incident, the first thing you’re supposed to do is treat the injured because those are the ones you’re more likely to save. But I didn’t see anyone injured. All I saw was people who weren’t breathing, who didn’t have a heartbeat. I thought, ‘Where are the injured people? Everywhere you look, everybody’s dead!’

“There was nothing we could do for any of them, we all tried our hardest, and we were completely unsuccessful,” she said. “The line of bodies kept getting longer and longer. Within seconds, they were out of body bags. We were taking thermal blankets to cover these people. And then we were out of thermal blankets. We didn’t have anything to cover the bodies with. There were just too many of them.”

Taub is also a member of the psycho-trauma unit. “I walked up the hill, and there were so many people in shock. People screaming hysterically, staring into space, and lying on the ground in foetal positions, unresponsive. I probably treated a hundred psycho-trauma patients. Meanwhile, [community emergency response team] ZAKA set up a tent that became the station where all the lost kids went. They were just naming kids one after the other separated from their parents. But not all were reunited because some of those parents died.”

By a miracle, Hevroni’s family managed to arrange his funeral for that day at 17:00. Because it was just before Shabbat, they expected few people to attend. But thousands arrived to pay their respects.

“The extent of his impact on people was so clear,” said Taback. “One rabbi bought a book of poems that Yohanatan wrote. They were about the simple things in life, and recognising the good in all other human beings. One of his students shared how he came to learn with Yohanatan and be inspired by him, but after their lesson, it was Yohanatan who told his student that he was inspiring.”

He described his brother-in-law as a “quiet guy, with a gentle soul, who always had a huge smile on his face”. He and Tanya married in Israel and went on to have three daughters, aged six, four, and two. They celebrated their eldest daughter’s sixth birthday a few days before the tragedy. “It would be the last celebration we would have together. There was so much happiness,” Taback said.

Two years ago, the family faced a major crisis when Tanya was diagnosed with cancer. “Yohanatan was there the whole time. He was a full-time father and mother. Now it’s the other way around. Tanya will have to be both the mother and the father.”

He said his parents, Ofra and David Taback, have been by his sister’s side from the moment they heard that Yohanatan was missing. “My parents are strong. They’re trying to be there for Tanya and the family. They’ve been here night and day.” Family around the world have joined in their grief.

Taback said his sister is devastated, but the support of the community had helped tremendously. “One thing we can take from this is that the Jewish nation will always unite in these situations. We must be there, one for each other, as brothers and sisters are meant to be,” said Taback. “Just be good to each other. We don’t need to wait for disasters to unite us. As the Jewish people, that’s who we are.”

Meanwhile, young South Africans on a gap year in Israel said the disaster had hit close to home. Many of their contemporaries attended the celebrations at Mount Meron. Dean Chaitowitz, who is at Yeshiva Eretz HaTzvi in Jerusalem, said he would have been there if enough boys from his yeshiva wanted to go.

“It wasn’t an official yeshiva trip, but they said that if there are enough kids, they’ll organise a bus to go. I’m trying to absorb as much of Israel as possible on my gap year, so I wanted to go. But in the end, there wasn’t enough of a demand. I was upset that I didn’t go, but when we found out what happened, I was shocked. I could easily have been there; our whole group would have gone. Hearing about yeshiva boys getting killed really hit hard, just knowing that it could literally have been any of us.”

Dani Sack who studying is at the Midreshet HaRova seminary in Jerusalem, said, “My group wasn’t going to go to Meron, but hearing about the tragedy nonetheless was a huge shock to the system, especially since some of our friends were planning to go.

“It was jarring considering we’d been so close to Meron, and also celebrated with dancing and singing that night. The fact that so many of those wounded and killed were young people put into perspective the magnitude of what a gap year entails. Being away from family is scary enough, but to think that a simple celebration on Lag B’Omer could turn deadly is terrifying.

“At Midreshet HaRova, we sang and said tehillim at the Kotel in honour of those who were killed. All the Torah we learned on Sunday was l’iluy nishmat [for the elevation of the soul] of the 45 we lost. In Israel, the mood over Shabbos and the weekend was solemn. You could feel the loss in the air. It’s really surreal being here during this moment, something that the Jewish national will remember forever.”

To support the family of the late Yohanatan Hevroni, please visit:

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Chief rabbi calls JSC questioning ‘racist and antisemitic’



Chief Rabbi Dr Warren Goldstein this week was appalled at the “conduct of the commissioners of the Judicial Service Commission [JSC] in their questioning of two Jewish judges [over the past weeks]”. He described it as “racist and antisemitic in effect, if not in intention”.

Judge David Unterhalter was grilled about his short association with the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) and his views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in his interview with the JSC. He was being interviewed for a position on the Constitutional Court. Similar queries were directed at judicial candidate Advocate Lawrence Lever who is standing for a position in the Northern Cape, including if he observed Shabbat.

“The Jewish candidates were the only ones subjected to questions relating to religious identity and practice,” said the chief rabbi. “The direct implication of their questions was that a Jewish judge who is a Zionist or observes Shabbat would be disqualified from holding high judicial office.

“This violates the letter and spirit of our Constitution. It’s morally and legally repugnant for officers of the JSC to discriminate against any candidate on the basis of their religious identity. They should all be ashamed of themselves,” the chief rabbi said.

He called on JSC commissioners including the minister of justice to retract and apologise for their comments. “And I also call on President Cyril Ramaphosa to return the list to the JSC as the Constitution allows him to do on the grounds that aspects of the hearing exhibited discriminatory questions which cast a shadow on their entire process. Racist conduct can never be condoned,” Goldstein said.

The SAJBD also described the JSC’s questioning of both men as “discriminatory and anti-constitutional”.

“Advocate Lawrence Lever and Judge David Unterhalter were subjected to questions pertaining to their Jewish identity while no other candidates were subjected to offensive religious scrutiny,” said SAJBD National Director Wendy Kahn. “Advocate Lever was asked about his level of religious observance, specifically whether he observes Shabbat. It was made clear that this observance would be problematic for his appointment.

“It should also be noted that no other candidate was questioned on their religious practices, except those of the Jewish faith. Christian candidates weren’t asked about working on Christmas, nor were Muslim candidates asked about working on Friday afternoons or Eid,” said Kahn. “It’s also extremely disturbing that questions posed to both Advocate Lever and Judge Unterhalter focused extensively on their possible association with the Board. Nearly all Jews in South Africa have some association with [it]. One wonders why a body mandated with protecting constitutionally sound principles of religious freedom and fighting hate would be so objectionable to members of the JSC panel,” she asked rhetorically.

“Equally concerning were questions posed to the two Jewish candidates regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” said Kahn. “Both were questioned on their stance on the two-state solution. It’s difficult to understand how a conflict of this nature has intruded into this forum. No Muslim candidates were questioned on the issue.

“From the questions Jewish candidates were asked at the JSC interviews this month, one would question whether those bent on pursuing an antisemitic agenda are beginning to influence key decision-making bodies unduly. We call on all South Africans to stand up and protect these constitutional values, and reject all forms of discrimination.”

Rabbi Greg Alexander, the co-chairperson at the South African Centre for Religious Equality and Diversity (SACRED), didn’t hold back on his opinion of the interviews. “There is little doubt that there was flagrant discrimination at the recent JSC hearings. This is specifically concerning the two Jewish candidates being interviewed.”

“Had such religious or cultural questions been asked of others of another faith, it would undoubtedly have sounded an alarm and disgusted those observing,” said SACRED co-chairperson Rabbi Julia Margolis. “However, we now face a doubly-disgusting situation in that such questions arose in the first place, and secondly, that only one religion, faith, or culture appears to have been deliberately targeted.

“This suggests that the very foundation of South Africa’s democracy is under threat, and one cannot help recalling the late Nelson Mandela’s voice: ‘I have fought against white domination, and I will fight against black domination.’ The determination of the late, great statesman to fight for absolute equality and against discrimination of any kind should be brought front and centre at this time. Those who raise such blatantly discriminating questions should be publicly shamed for doing so.”

“There does appear to be some prejudice in the questioning from the JSC,” said Mark Oppenheimer, an advocate at the Johannesburg Bar. To question a Jewish advocate about their observation of the Sabbath “is a weird thing to ask, given that there have been many Jews on the courts over the years, and you wouldn’t ask a Christian whether they could do their job given that they might go to church on Sunday, or a Muslim who needs to go to prayers on a Friday. So there is either antisemitism or anti-Zionism, or a great deal of ignorance. With Judge Unterhalter, it’s unclear if this was an excuse to try and block him, or whether it was the reason he wasn’t nominated further.”

Writing in Business Live, Tony Leon, the former leader of the opposition, said, “In the dismissal of Unterhalter’s claims for judicial advancement, his membership of the ‘suspect class’ of his race was fused with his religious affiliation. Thus, the JSC interviewers gave little airtime to Unterhalter’s credentials, which include being the first South African ever appointed to the appellate body of the World Trade Organisation, where he served as chairperson for two years.

“Courtesy of a bile-ridden tissue of vitriol against him authored by the Qatar-funded Boycott, Disinvest and Sanction outfit, Unterhalter landed up spending much of his time offering his views on Zionism (not in the remit of the court) and his one-time membership of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies,” continued Leon. “According to BDS, the century-old Board, whose leadership is democratically and transparently elected, is akin to the Broederbond. Mere membership of this community body rendered Unterhalter unfit for higher judicial office in the view of BDS, a matter the JSC seemed to endorse.”

The JSC recommended Lever for a vacant judge’s position in the Northern Cape. It also recommended lawyer Norman Manoim for a vacancy on the Gauteng High Court bench. Both are to be referred to President Cyril Ramaphosa for appointment. Meanwhile, the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution is reportedly considering legal options regarding the recent interviews by the JSC for candidates for appointment to the Constitutional Court.

Speaking to the SA Jewish Report, Manoim said, “It’s a great honour to be able to serve. I’ve been in public service for a long time – on the Competition Tribunal for 20 years as a public regulator – and I wanted to be able to continue serving.”

As a human rights lawyer before 1994, Manoim said he hoped to bring “the perspective of a lawyer who has worked with and without a Constitution”. He also wants to emphasise the importance of institutions in society. “We as a country must ensure our institutions work properly and independently, and we must work to protect them,” he said.

He said it was important for people who had the opportunity to serve in public office, to do so. “It’s easy to criticise society – and we do have many problems. But we must get our hands dirty and contribute towards solutions. As an optimist, I think we can solve our problems – we always have. So we must put ourselves in whatever role we can be useful in. This community has people with a wide range of skills and talents. We must get involved in whatever sphere we can to make a real difference.”

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