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Cape Town Declaration a shambles




ANC “family feud”

behind delay in

C/T Declaration?

Does an ANC “family feud” offer the key to the delay in bringing the “Cape Town Declaration” to Parliament? Does an ANC “family feud” offer the key to the delay in bringing the “Cape Town Declaration” to Parliament? Those in the know in the ACDP certainly think so!

The “Cape Town Declaration” which was passed on 6 February at an unprecedented ‘Solidarity Conference in support of the people of Palestine, Cuba and Western Sahara’ (which took place under the auspices of the Parliamentary International Relations and Cooperation Portfolio Committee), has once again found it’s ratification meeting being postponed for a week at the very last moment.

This week makes it increasingly unlikely that the ‘Declaration’ will make it through this parliamentary session, say the pundits. Parliament’s last sitting before closing shop for the 7 May elections will be on Friday 14 March, says ACDP MP and member of the Portfolio Committee Cheryllyn Dudley. Parliament can be recalled for important business – which this certainly isn’t – and only the most important matters will be attended to in the days prior to 14 March.

The “family matter’ angle explains a lot

Dudley feels that the delay may have a lot to do with differences of opinion between the ANC as a party and the government. Government understands the benefits of any arrangement that allows a relationship between Israel and SA to continue, says Dudley, who had been told that this week’s postponement of the tabling of the Declaration was due to the document requiring “further editing.”

ACDP pro-Israel posterThe Portfolio Committee was to have discussed the Declaration at its weekly meeting on 19 February, which was postponed at the last moment. Committee members were told that Committee chair Tisetso Magama (MP, ANC) was still finalising the wording and that matter would come before the Committee today (26 Feb). This morning, members were informed that there would be another week’s delay (to 5 March) due to the wording not being finalised.
RIGHT: This graphic appears in the Mini version of the ACDP manifesto – SEE PDF BELOW

Committee member Cheryllyn Dudley (MP, ACDP) told SAJR Online today that her party understands that this is a “huge issue for the ANC. Government understands the benefits,” she says, of doing business with Israel. But the ANC had made promises to uphold BDS policies.

“We are sympathetic with them,” said Dudley, “it’s a huge issue for the ANC – but it’s a family matter.”

When Jewish Report put this concept to Joburg DA City Councillor Darren Bergman, who has been earmarked by the DA for a seat in Parliament, he, too, felt it explained a lot of the confusing positions the ruling party had taken on the Middle East. “If you are so driven to back something, why delay it for weeks?” Bergman asked.

ACDP head Rev Kenneth Meshoe also reiterated this point to Jewish Report Online today, saying that he believed the delay in tabling the Cape Town Declaration was due government “looking to soften the wording.

“The ANC is right to insist that government put their money where your mouth is,” said Meshoe, while “politicians know that you cannot practically do (what the party has promised).”
“We are going to be vigilant and ensure that we will not be steamrolled nor will we keep quiet” on the matter of Israel, Meshoe told SAJR Online in an exclusive interview today.

Solidarity with one shouldn’t mean anti the other

SAJBD executive director, Wendy Kahn, and president, Zev Krengel, had planned to attend the meeting today. But still, says Wendy, “We had a successful day of meetings in Parliament yesterday with the Chief Whips of several political parties including the ANC. We also met with (Tisetso Magama) to discuss our concerns regarding the `Cape Town Declaration’ and we are very encouraged that the adoption of this document has been postponed.”

The Board also held a “constructive meeting with DA Leader Helen Zille,” says Wendy, who had assured them that the DA’s policy on Israel/Palestine “remains firmly in support of a two state solution.”

“We believe that aspects of the proposed declaration are deeply problematic and veer from the realm of solidarity with the Palestinians into anti-Israel sentiment. This deviation from the manifestos and policies of these mainstream political parties in our country does not in any way assist the peace process and only serves the agendas of narrow focus groups,” Wendy told SAJR. 

The Jewish Report left messages for ANC spokesman Clayson Monyela and the Committee’s chair and secretary Magama and Luba Valo – none of whom had responded by the time of posting. This is understandable due to today being Budget Day and SAJR Online will add their comments once communication has been established.

“Regrettably,” wrote Board and Fed chairs in a joint statement to the community after the 6 February Conference, “this proved to be little more than a stage managed show trial, one in which Israel was as usual tried, condemned and sentenced in absentia.”

It now seems that the condemners may have trouble in their own backyard.

C/Town Declaration: Related reads on SAJR:

6 FEB: Convention and unofficial wording of CT Declaration

12 FEB: Board & Fed angered by Cape Town Declaration
12 FEB: SA calls for extreme measures to cripple Israel

19 FEB: Is ACDP Israel’s only SA political ally?

20 FEB: DA’s Bergman responds on “Cape Town Declaration”
23 FEB: Cape Town Declaration to be adopted Wed?

24 FEB: “Our MP (Bill Eloff DA) went rogue” – Darren Bergman

26 FEB: The face of a passionate Christian Zionist

Election: Related reads, downloads on SAJR:


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