The Freedom Front plus (FF+) has called on International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor to explain her “ties” with Islamist militant group Hamas.
The question came with FF+ MP Dr Corné Mulder during a debate in Parliament regarding the recent Israel-Palestine conflict.
Although the department’s spokesperson Clayson Monyela was not available for comment on how they were going to tackle the question, Pandor recently confirmed that she was on a call on October 17 with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.
She said the two leaders discussed how to get humanitarian aid into the Gaza strip, which is the centre of the war.
Pandor and her political party, the ANC, have not minced their words in supporting Palestine in their ongoing Middle East war with Israel.
The two countries descended into a full-blown war, following a surprise attack from Gaza by the militant wing of Hamas on Israel soil, killing scores of Israelis last month.
The next day Israel retaliated with rocket missiles into Palestinian territory, Gaza. The war up to so far has reportedly resulted in more than 8 000 people being killed.
“Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, needs to explain her ties with Hamas and Iran,” Mulder said.
He added: “The minister’s recent call to Ismail Haniyeh, senior leader of Hamas, demonstrates her close ties with an organisation that uses terror to achieve its objectives… Iran has already publicly condoned Hamas’s attack in which 1 400 Israeli civilians were killed. The atrocities are well-documented.”
Mulder further accused the South African government of not hesitating to express its stance by having the entire executive authority wear Palestinian scarves to demonstrate their solidarity with the Palestinians.
He was referring to a recent event hosted by President Cyril Ramaphosa that showed support for Palestine with members of the ANC, of whom some are Cabinet ministers.
“Not a single word was uttered to condemn the terror attack until after the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had publicly condemned the incident,” he said.
The right-wing political party also expressed its unhappiness regarding the government’s decision to withdraw its diplomats from Israel this week saying it would have a negative impact on economic ties between Israel and South Africa and Ordinary South Africans would pay the price for it.
“South Africa’s withdrawal of its diplomats from Israel for consultations and its threat to deport the Israeli ambassador from South Africa clearly demonstrate where its sentiments lie.
“The FF Plus is also aware that the conflict could be ended at once if Hamas would be willing to meet three conditions,” the party said.
They firstly called for the unconditional release of all hostages who were kidnapped from Israel a month ago.
“Second, the immediate cessation of rocket attacks on Israel and third, the undertaking to take appropriate action against all persons responsible for the attack on 7 October.
“Hamas is fully aware that the power to end the conflict and suffering of all Palestinians in the area lies in its hands, but is deliberately choosing to draw it out,” Mulder added.
He said the ANC was positioning itself on the wrong side of history and it was increasingly estranging South Africa from countries on which it depends for survival.
“The boundary between anti-Western ANC rhetoric and action on the international stage is rapidly becoming very blurred…the international community is taking note of the fact that the ANC government seems to be increasing,” Mulder concluded.
Monyela had not responded to Independent Media’s questions by the time of going to print.