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No public meet with Maite for community

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ANT KATZ

SA Jewry has been aflutter for a week over a rumoured address by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, to the community. The date of Monday 2 December has been widely mentioned.

Jewish Report sought confirmation from the highest levels of the SAJBD last Thursday and Friday – and again on Monday and Tuesday this week – but has been unable to get confirmation or denial that any form of meeting would be taking place.

After being advised by the Board on Tuesday afternoon that no statement or information would be forthcoming before the Board before the newspaper goes to print, and in the knowledge that readers would be seeking answers in this week’s newspaper, Jewish Report sought to second-source the story from the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation as the only information we were able to source from a highty placed source in Jewish leadership was that the minister would “categorically” not be adressing the community on Monday 2 December. 

SAJBD new Protea logoJewish Report spoke to the Deputy Director General of Public Diplomacy, Clayson Monyela, who confirmed that the Minister’s diary had such a public session pencilled in for next Monday evening, but that no arrangements had been confirmed.

Planned as political meet

Monyela said that the Minister meets with SAJBD three or four times a year as “part of a process of regular interaction between her and the Jewish community,” and that he thought they had met three times this year. This meeting, however, was different – he said.

While the minister normally engages with the Board of Deputies about communal issues, he told Jewish Report, “this (meeting), however, I believe is related to the upcoming election campaign.” Monyela said he understood that “this (meeting) is in terms of the Minister’s capacity as an ANC National Executive Committee member.”

Monyela said that while the meeting appeared in the Minister’s diary, she had not yet confirmed the arrangements. Asked who had initiated the proposed meeting and who would be expected to be invited, Monyela said he had no idea. “We don’t know who will be invited,” he told Jewish report today. “As soon as it is confirmed I will be prepared to discuss it more and arrange for an interview.”

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