Zuma to ANC members: Don’t go to Israel

  • ANC 16 Zuma
President Zuma read significant parts of a document entitled: “Statement of the National Executive Committee” (NEC) at the ANC's 104th birthday party last Shabbos. The statements on the Middle East made up a mere three paragraphs of the 7,000-word NEC statement, but marks the first time that Zuma has personally uttered a statement discouraging travel – albeit with his ANC hat on - to Israel. This, say pundits, marks a significant change over the same documents and speeches from previous years.
by ANT KATZ | Jan 12, 2016

See in the above video at exactly 13 minutes 28 seconds (13:28), as the event was held on Shabbos, for the second consecutive year, Tshepo Mdlovu – who works at the Israeli Embassy’s Trade Office and is an ANC member – donned a kippa and read an opening prayer from the Jewish community, drafted by Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein. At 41:07 is the speech of President Jacob Zuma

Speaking at the ANC’s 104th birthday bash at the Phokeng stadium near Rustenburg over the weekend, President Jacob Zuma told the large crowd: “We reiterate that we discourage travel to Israel for ANC leaders, members, and representatives, for business and leisure purposes.”

There has always been a difference between what the ANC, as a political party, say about travel to Israel and what the South African government’s view on the issue is. Of course both are headed by Zuma...

ANC 16 Top4The more pragmatic approach of the government has seen South Africa and Israel doing well over R8 billion in bilateral trade in 2015, according to SARS. This included an increase in imports from Israel to South Africa for the sixth consecutive year.

RIGHT, From left: The ANC’s Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte, Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and President Jacob Zuma walking to the podium at the ANC 104 celebration held near Rustenburg last Saturday

Zuma did not make a speech as such, but read significant parts of a document entitled: “Statement of the National Executive Committee” (NEC). The statements on the Middle East made up a mere three paragraphs of the 7 000-word document, but marks the first time that the president has personally uttered a statement discouraging travel - albeit with his ANC party-political hat on.

This seems to herald a significant change over the same documents and speeches from previous years.

“The ANC encourages our government to continue its programme of talking to all parties in the Palestinian territory and calls on the people of Palestine to work together to bring about self-determination,” Zuma added.


For the benefit of SAJR's Online users, we have uploaded a
PDF OF THE NEC POLICY DOC in full – which can be printed as a
Shabbos read or sent as an e-mail attachment to friend and family


Israel’s ambassador to South Africa, Arthur Lenk, told Jewish Report: “I strongly believe that Israel and South Africa have much to offer each other,” and, referring to the issue of travel: “Just as one cannot understand South Africa’s current challenges and development without visiting or actively engaging, the same is true for Israel.”

Says Ambassador Lenk, “the best way to access Israeli advancements in water management, technology and innovation, so needed in Africa, is to see what exists.”

In an interview with Jewish Report in November, for example, the ambassador said that South Africans had flocked to Israel’s famous WATEC conference and exhibition in Tel Aviv. He had been impressed at the “number of South African officials and business leaders”, who visited Israel to take part in the event. He confirmed that the officials he referred to were employees in all three tiers of government.

This week Lenk said: “It seems impossible to understand Israeli security dilemmas in a massively unstable Middle East without visiting the region.” His embassy’s team remain “deeply committed to dialogue, developing trade and increasing understanding”, he said, and they would “continue to interact with South Africans at all levels to share the story of Israel’s successes and opportunities for Africa”. 

An Africa News Agency (ANA) report, carried in many mainstream South African newspapers, quotes Zuma as reiterating the ANC’s “support for the isolation of businesses operating in the occupied territories”.

Zuma also read from the report on Saturday that: “The ANC is very concerned about the deteriorating situation in the Middle East as this has the potential to trigger a global conflagration. We urge parties to co-operate in line with principles of international law and resolutions of the United Nations.”

Related reads on this website:


  1. 13 BDS WORKS 12 Jan
    Even after coming under immense pressure from the Israeli lobby, South Africa's ruling party the ANC has stood firm on its travel ban to Israel and boycott of complicit companies.
  2. 12 Gary 12 Jan
    [Edited, that's illegal  -Moderator] are Jew-haters no better than the Nazis
  3. 11 abu mamzer 13 Jan
    The ANC itinerary for the Middle East:
    1)Visit Saudi Arabia to observe live and dead,how the criminal justice system works.(Sorry can't include Mecca ...if you are are kuffar,(Jews,Christians, pagans etc)
    2)Visit Aleppo to see how the Arab Revolution deals with opponents.
    3)Visit I Ran ,frequent public hangings, to observe new crime prevention week specials...and of course, don't miss the Holocaust denial week
    4)Mend and sign trade deal with Iran to supply them with SA mined Uranium
    5)Libya  beckons with its beautiful beaches and interminable sectarian conflict( Racism is of course forbidden there,but tribalism is permitted)
    6) Finally go to Israel,visit all the Jewish refugee restaurants from Arab countries(The drinks are's part of the Israeli Constitution that alcohol may not be charged for in restaurants) See how a third world country works,operates,functions with no natural resources except sea salt,and a currency that is as rock hard as the US Dollar.
    ANC ... you nauseate me ....let's see the steatopyginous amongst you get whipped next elections...don't book any gravy planes on SAA,the only way to get around will be a 1950's Merc!
  4. 10 nat cheiman 13 Jan
    Rather go to Nkandla. The discouraging of ANC members to go to Israel EXCLUDES any financial benefit which Israel may ( or may not) give to SA.
  5. 9 Mordechai 15 Jan
    All Zuma is doing is making public his views and hatred for Israel. This is no surprise and in fact would be the views of the South African government
  6. 8 nat cheiman 16 Jan
    BDS works. It actually doesn't
  7. 7 nat cheiman 16 Jan
    I agree with Gary
  8. 6 Mordechai 18 Jan
    Where is the outrage from Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein and the rest of South Africa's Jewish leadership. 
  9. 5 Mordechai 19 Jan
    I don't know of any leader/prime minister/president/monach of any other non Muslim country who has called for his/her citizens to boycott traveling to Israel, and the outrage from South Africa's Jewish leadership (Rabbinic and lay) is deafening....shame on them all
  10. 4 nat cheiman 19 Jan
    Mordechai, there is no outrage at all. BDS are a bunch of losers, having had their backsides kicked in most universities with their racist hatred. We don't need any Rabbi to express outrage. BDS are their own worst enemies. Mainly because they are pseudo intellectuals and some are even completely stupid such as Mncediso Dhlamini, who loves Hitler. He has only heard the name before. He doesnt realise that he would have been toast if his uncle Adolf got hold of him . These people are basically anus apertures.
  11. 3 nat cheiman 19 Jan
    Incidentally Mr BDS doesnt work. The ANC  dont have a clue about Israeli tech companies. If they did, they wouldnt be using cell phones or computers. Come to think of it, the ANC and BDS and Islamic radicals, (who hate Israel) are giving Israeli companies handsome profits from mobile and computer technologies. Keep on using your mobiles you losers. ( oh I forgot) And your computers, you clever fellows. 
  12. 2 Mordechai 20 Jan
    Nat, I am not speaking about BDS...don't care about them. My post speaks about the lack of public outrage from South Africa's Jewish leadership (Rabbinic and lay) when theI resident of South Africa tells South African's not to travel and not to visit Israel. Why no outrage ??? 
  13. 1 Choni 20 Jan
    Mordechai, To my mind the only "outrage" most of the Jewish community will show is when our religious leaders tell Jews to get out of the country and make Aliyah.


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