ANC blasts Maimane for Israel visit
DA leader Mmusi Maimane has come under fire from the ANC for his trip to Israel.
This is the time second time in as many weeks that DA leaders have been on the receiving end of ANC attacks for bungling the country’s foreign policy.
Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga defended his decision to visit Taiwan in December, which is in conflict with South Africa’s policy of diplomatic ties with Beijing.
Former President Nelson Mandela’s government cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan in the 1990s and established diplomatic relationships with China.
On Thursday the ANC said Maimane’s visit to Israel was not the position supported by the government.
The government backs the Palestinian people.
ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa said the DA continued to show blind support for Israel despite its treatment of the Palestinian people.
He said Maimane and his party must not mislead the public that the ANC government supported his trip to Israel.
“The ANC together with other progressive organisations and forces are not surprised by the DA’s visit to Israel and to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” he said.
“At a time when the world is increasingly standing up against Israel’s illegal settlements, including the United Nations Security Council, it is a pity that the DA is endorsing the Israeli regime instead of condemning its violations of international law,” said Kodwa.
But DA spokeswoman Phumzile van Damme defended Maimane’s visit to Israel.
She said her leader’s visit to Israel was to learn how South Africa can play a role in fostering peace in the region.
Van Damme said despite meeting with Israeli leaders including Netanyahu Maimane’s meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was cancelled.
She said the DA leader met with Palestinians in parts of the area.
The DA was in full support of the two-state solution in the Middle East with both sides living side by side, said Van Damme.