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‘Friends of Israel’ Comment Leads To Suspension Of Joburg MMC Mpho Phalatse

On Sunday, at the SA Friends of Israel National Conference 2018, the member of the mayoral committee (MMC) for health and social development Dr Mpho Phalatse made a declaration that sent the political parties and anyone aware of the brutality of the state of Israel into a frenzy. Phalatse declared that she and the City of Johannesburg were the friends of Israel, ignoring years of South Africa’s diplomatic policy, and apparently without mandate from the mayoral committee or the mayor.

The short clip of her unmandated speech at the conference has resulted in her immediate suspension, the executive mayor Herman Mashaba announced today. “I have taken the decision, as the mayor of this city, to suspend MMC Phalatse pending further investigation into the full and proper context in which those remarks were made,” he said in a clip posted by Floyd Shivambu.

In a press statement, the African National Congress (ANC) strongly condemned her actions and “unequivocally” distanced themselves from her utterances. “As the ANC in Johannesburg, we re-iterate our solidarity with the heroic people of Palestine. We condemn Israel’s occupation of Palestine and the systematic oppression meted out to the Palestinian people for decades,” the party said.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Johannesburg Region, which runs the City of Johannesburg in a coalition with Phalatse’s party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), said it was “deeply disturbed” by the “chronically incompetent” Phalatse’s statements and has called for Mashaba to remove her from the mayoral committee. They called her statement “juvenile” and ignorant of the geo-political landscape of the Middle East. “The MMC has essentially in her moment of infantile fascism recognise the vicious state of Israel on our behalf and reduced the entire City to Trump’s level of political illiteracy,” it said.

As a member of the DA, people have questioned whether Phalatse’s declaration aren’t just an echo of the party’s position when it comes to Israel. The DA was critical of the South African government when it recalled its ambassador to Israel after its military force massacred Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.

DA Student Organisation federal leader Yusuf Cassim said on Twitter that Phalaste’s “views do not represent the views of the DA nor that if [sic] the DA led Johannesburg.” He said that charges against Phalatse will be laid accordingly.

Featured image via Ido Daniel via Twitter
1 Comment
  1. Estelle Oelofsen says

    PEOPLE LIVING IN THE PAST HAS NO FUTURE!
    I am 81 and had a miserable, horrid childhood. But I always said in my mind “NO ONE will keep me down. I WILL SURVIVE!” And I did! Thank GOD for that. Even at my age, I am Stronger mentally than ever.
    Look forward not back. No one can DO anything about the past. Look to your future and face life. CARPE DIEM – Grab the day! Get up every day and ask yourself: ” What do I have to do today, then DO IT! And tonight when you go to bed, ask yourself: “Did I achieve what I set out to do today?” No? No. I talked too much rubbish with friends. I spent too much time doing NOTHING. WASTING TIME is a sin! You cannot expect achieving anything in life by wasting time and then complain if life is passing you by. TALK LESS AND DO MORE! Procrastination is the evil of today and next to it yakking all day! Shut up and do something.

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