As per the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), South Africa and Israel had carried formal diplomatic relations despite the government’s support for Palestinians.
Moreover, diplomatic relations among South Africa and Israel have sparked intense debate this week after President Cyril Ramaphosa received and accepted the “letters of confidence” from Israel’s ambassador in Pretoria.
This week, the Presidency held a certificates ceremony in Pretoria where President Cyril received the letters from the ambassador “Eliav Belosercovsky.”
However, South Africa does not have an ambassador in Israel after it recalled its representative four years back in 2018 as part of the process to demote diplomatic existence in Israel, which have been accused of human rights violation.
DIRCO also responded to the comments and queries regarding the current status of their diplomatic ties between the two nations.
His Excellency President @CyrilRamaphosa receives Letter of Credence from the Ambassador of the State of Israel, His Excellency Mr Eliav Belotsercovsky, on the occasion of the Credentials Ceremony at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Tshwane #BetterAfricaBetterWorld pic.twitter.com/004OS2kbGX
— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) January 25, 2022
“Post-apartheid South Africa and Israel have maintained their formal diplomatic relations to date. In part, the presence of diplomatic ties permit South Africa to play with its overseas partners in their ongoing efforts to end the occupation of Palestine,” said DIRCO in a statement.
The department said that South Africa had been constant and steady in its moral support for the struggle of the Palestinian people against the occupation.
The very same government who told Lalela not to go to Israel? Look at him, beaming with smile, welcoming Israeli diplomats. Some of us did say they were just grandstanding, as always 😂
— Bruno (@Bruno_Mzeh) January 25, 2022
“Our nation draws a direct parallel between the ex apartheid rule and the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. Like the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), we regard Palestine, together with Western Shara, as unfinished decolonisation struggles.”
The certificates ceremony provoked the people because they demanded an apology from the government to Miss SA, Lalela Mswane.
The government also backstepped for their support of Mswane’s participation in the Miss Universe pageant held in Israel last month.
The Department of Sports, Art and culture’s withdrawal said that atrocities committed by Israel against Palestinians were well documented, and the government “could not be in good state of mind to associate itself with such.”
Some of the social media responses were very offensive towards the government decision.
Furthermore, “the former CJ must ask for an apology, and miss universe was a strip for attending the contest in Israel. Now you are receiving whatever from Israel, and You are confusing the whole nation that what is your stand about Israel.”
As per the comment of EFF deputy president “Floyd Shivambu“, This is the reflection and sign of puppet government hypocrisy and lies. They always pretend like they are against the racist and apartheid state of Israel, and also show like they are boycotting them, yet welcome representatives of the murderous and colonial racist and apartheid Israel to SA Disgusting.”
This is a reflection of ANC’s and puppet government hypocrisy and lies. They pretend to be against the racist and apartheid state of Israel, acted like they’re boycotting them, yet welcome representatives of the murderous and colonial racist and apartheid Israel to SA. Disgusting https://t.co/VTYX7OEQWf
— Floyd Shivambu (@FloydShivambu) January 25, 2022
He also added that the situation was dynamic and that South Africa would confirm that their tactful existence was strategic and geared towards ending the occupation.