SA-Israel ice-hockey match disrupted
Cape Town - An international ice hockey match between South Africa and Israel at the Grand West Ice Rink was disrupted by an anti-Israel protest on Thursday night.
Cape Town activist, Bram Hanekom, a leader of the protest at the rink, said he was assaulted by security guards whom he alleged were part of the Israeli ambassador’s security detail.
However, Michael Farr, spokesman for Sun City International, denied the assault and said protesters threw marbles on the ice and had then been evicted.
Protesters from the Congress of South African Students and the ANC Youth League, as well as the National Coalition for Palestine, had bought tickets and entered the arena at the beginning of the match, said Anglican priest June Major, who took part in the protest.
Major said Hanekom was singled out during an interval and dragged out of the venue.
“They attacked him and beat him up,” she said.
“There were about 80 to 100 protesters, but most remained outside because they were doing racial profiling at the doors,” Major said.
“There was no warning, we were peaceful. Bram only had a South African flag, I had a Palestinian flag.”
Hanekom this morning said he had bruises but no broken ribs.
“We went to express our view that the Israeli government, the State of Israel, should not be recognised by South Africa, and that the Western Cape government who hosted the tournament should not give the Israelis this platform,” Hanekom said.
He said he was certain that the security staff had a different uniform to that of the Grand West security staff and that he had heard one say over the radio th at “their man was safe”. He believed this was a reference to the Israeli ambassador, who attended the match.
The Israeli embassy denied that their security had been at the venue.