Johannesburg - More than a year after withdrawing its ambassador to Israel, the government has not finalised the downgrading of its embassy in Tel Aviv.
This emerged in a written response by President Cyril Ramaphosa to a parliamentary question posed by National Freedom Party MP Munzoor Shaik-Emam, who asked for a progress update on the matter.
In 2017, the ANC decided at its national elective conference the government should downgrade its embassy in Israel. South African ambassador to Israel Sisa Ngombane was withdrawn from Tel Aviv in May 2018, after a massacre of protesting Palestinians by the Israeli army in Gaza.
In his written response, Ramaphosa said the government was still forging ahead with plans to downgrade South Africa’s embassy in Israel. “The government remains engaged with the modalities of downgrading the South African Embassy in Israel.
“We have recalled our ambassador and intend to retain a liaison office in Tel Aviv, which will oversee our continuing provision of consular services and any trade and economic relations,” Ramaphosa said.