City Parks block BDS event in heart of Joburg

  • BDS NO Logo
UPDATE: COMPROMISE AGREED - The SA arm of the US-based anti-Israel NGO ‘Boycot, Divest, Sanction (Israel)’ (BDS-SA) issued a scathing indictment of Joburg City Parks Department for withdrawing a tentative (verbal) agreement to allow a Palestine solidarity event to take place at the Weinberg Family Park in the leafy Northern Suburbs, blaming DA City Councillor Steven Kruger for the change. Not true, says Kruger. Read why…
by ANT KATZ | Sep 01, 2016

Councillor Kruger refuses to take any credit for the change of City Parks’ policy, however, and insists that City Councillors are only the conduits through which residents and ratepayers speak to City structures. He had originally approached City Parks last week when he received ten letters of objection, says Kruger.  He was only passing on the concerns of residents. He had since received more than 50 additional letters, he told Jewish Report.

Steven Kruger


BDS-SA spokesman Kwara Kekana issued a statement this morning saying that the organisation “has just been informed by our comrades from the South African Jews for Palestine (SAJFP) that Johannesburg City Parks has withdrawn its permission to the SAJFP for a Palestine solidarity event tomorrow (Thursday 01 September).”

RIGHT: Popular Ward 72 Councillor Steven Kruger

Kekana referred to the actions of the Parks Department as a “withdrawal and u-turn … after complaints submitted by (Kruger)”. By Kruger’s account, this is stretching the truth somewhat as permission had only been granted “verbally and tentatively.”

The SAJFP had planned a symbolic pro-Palestinian tree-planting ceremony with visiting Palestinian dignitaries. Given that, it is not surprising that residents objected to the site of this being between Waverly Shul and Chabad House and no more than 500 metres from numerous other Jewish secular and religious facilities in Savoy Estate.

Objections were vigorous

The Savoy Waverley Residents Association were one of those who wrote and objected to City Parks, saying that they had heard that “a certain organisation is seeking City Council permission to plant six trees and erect a memorial in Weinberg Park in commemoration of the alleged illegal destruction of Palestinian homes by Israel during the 1948 War of Independence.”  

The residents Associations pointed out that: “This grouping is closely associated with the radical anti-Israel BDS organisation.”

SA Jewish Report is withholding the names of objectors to ensure that they are not victimised.

Another strenuous objection related to: “this ploy on the part of those seeking to hijack public spaces for purposes of advancing their own ignoble agenda.”

Other objections raised by area residents included:

  • “The proposed project would have the effect of imposing a highly contested and controversial interpretation of historical events in a public recreational space”;
  • “Introducing a permanent source of division, resentment and controversy within the community”;
  • “I wish to object to the proposed erection of a memorial in Weinberg Park by a private lobby organisation wishing to further its own private political agenda”;
  • “There has been a complete lack of consultation either with the residents in the area or with its elected representative”; and
  • That it could impact negotiations already underway concerning upgrades to Weinberg Park.  

BDS unrelenting in skewed statement

Despite BDS-SA's Kekane’s use of slanted terms such as “undermined by the DA” and City Parks’ “u-turn” and “withdrawing permission” - it appears on further investigation that this was stretching the truth.

It does, however, “make Johannesburg Jewry feel like they are being listened to” a Jewish communal leader told Jewish Report today referring to a public meeting that the Joburg Development Agency will be calling with Jewish residents who may have special needs relating to the Louis Botha Corridor.

LATEST: A Jewish Report source at the Metro, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that a compromise was struck today. After further objections were raised in the City Council, the on-again-off-again event went ahead this morning – although on condition that no trees were to be planted or memorial erected.

Moodley Jenny


Moodley Jenny

Right: LATEST - Just in: This picture has just been submitted by a user in the area - the group, including Ronnie Kasrils, did in fact illegally plant or erect something but the Parks Board are likely going to remove it today, says Jewish Report's source

Weinberg Park
ABOVE: The Weinberg Family Park - GOOGLE-EARTH


  1. 10 nat cheiman 01 Sep
    Kwarra Kekana. The name says it all. He should be writing music with a name like that
  2. 9 Jonni 02 Sep
    Kasrils should rather be concerned with [the  -ED] failed attempt at invading Boputatswana where many innocent people were injured because of his cavalier attitude
  3. 8 brian 03 Sep
    Boipatong, not Bophutatswana
  4. 7 Gary Selikow 04 Sep
    It was pure provocation to try hold this anti-Israel hate ceremony in a strongly Jewish suburb
    Why didnt they hold it in Lenasia or Mayfair?
  5. 6 Gary Selikow 04 Sep
    Nat don't compare Steve Kekana the execrable Kwara
    Steve Kekana is a talented musician who has been making great music for many years.
    Kwara Kekana is an evil... [Sorry, Gary, the rest is unprintable   -ED]
  6. 5 nat cheiman 05 Sep
    Gary, Ja I know. I was trying to intimate that he is an evil .......%$#@*&^+#!~ 
  7. 4 Gary Selikow 05 Sep
    Sorry but I WILL offend the people who offend me and mean harm to the Land and People I love
    Am Yisrael Chai!
    No Surrender Ever!
    While our policy mirrors yours, Gary, that doesn't include illegal use of hate speech and racism   -ED
  8. 3 Harold 06 Sep
    I think the Kasrils episode occurred in Bisho part of the former Ciskei
    Boipotong is another massacre,with nothing to do with Lance Corporal Kasrils
  9. 2 nat cheiman 06 Sep
    Ha ha Harold. Lance Corporal is one notch above a private. Kasrils was as low as a tochas, boet. No rank.
  10. 1 yitzchak 09 Sep
    Wasn't it the Vuka uprising in 1992 led by MK Kasrils trying to bring down the the Government of Bapethikosweti?
     The anti-hero was HOBS....Hero of Bisho Stadium( you know who) who led 28 ANC members to their untimely deaths by Ciskeian gunfire.
    Perhaps we should plant 28 trees in their memory.


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