DA grilled over links with Israel

Cape Town - Al Jamah-Ah chief executive Imraahn Ismail-Mukaddam is determined to get answers about whether the DA received funding from “people who support Israel’s continued occupation of Palestine”.

But the party refuses to say.

Al Jamah-Ah chief executive Imraahn Ismail-Mukaddam. Photo: David Ritchie. Credit: INLSA

Ismail-Mukaddam, a shopkeeper who took on huge, illegal bread cartels and won, resulting in the Competition Commission fining companies several million rand for collusion, addressed an open letter to DA federal executive James Selfe this week.

He questioned whether the DA’s stance on Israel was linked to party funding.

“It is within my rights (to) assume that there is a direct link between your party’s policies and donor funding,” Ismail-Mukaddam said.

He said he sent the letter in his personal capacity and not as a representative of his political party.

“I challenge the DA to sue me in my personal capacity if any of my statements are libellous or devoid of fact,” Ismail-Mukaddam said.

Asked about the DA’s funding, Selfe said the party policy was clear and he would not make their list of donors public. He said it was party policy not to disclose their funders unless donors themselves make the information public.

Last month the DA sent lawyer’s letters to Al Jama-Ah asking them to stop the distribution of pamphlets that said it was haraam (nor permissible for Muslims) to vote for the DA.

Al Jama-Ah printed 10 000 pamphlets and distributed about 7 000 in Mitchells Plain, including at mosques, said Ismail-Mukaddam.

“We immediately retracted the pamphlets but we sent the DA eight questions to answer – but they never did,” he said.

Ismail-Mukaddam said he had resent the questions to the DA in the hope that he would get an answer.

The questions include:

Selfe said the questions sent by Al Jama-Ah and later Ismail-Mukaddam followed on their demand to the party to stop distributing the pamphlets. “We therefore regarded it as irrelevant,” he said.

Selfe said the DA had no obligation to Al Jama-Ah or Ismail-Mukaddam to answer their questions.

“We took issue with the pamphlet because it used the DA logo and symbols and that is against the the Electoral Code of Conduct,” he said.

He said the DA raised concerns about Al Jama-Ah’s statement that it was haraam to vote for them.

“Haraam, as I understand it, means it to be not kosher or not pure,” he said.