‘Context’ of Phalatse’s Israel comments to be investigated – Mashaba

Joburg’s Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba has suspended his MMC for Health and Social Development, Dr Mpho Phalatse, after remarks she made about Israel this weekend.

Phalatse has been criticised for publicly declaring that the ‘City and herself were now friends of Israel’.

Phalatse declared her support for Israel during a celebration to mark 70 years of the re-founding of the state of Israel, which was a function organised by South African Friends of Israel and held at the City Hall in downtown Johannesburg.

Mashaba told council on 12 June that he was disappointed by Phalatse’s remarks.

“I will defend with my life the right to any South African to hold personal beliefs. I am disappointed in the attribution to the City of Johannesburg,” he said.

Although Mashaba said the work of international relations was not the City’s focus, he does believe in ‘a peaceful solution to a secure and prosperous Palestine alongside a secure and prosperous Israel’.

“The matter of the conflict in the middle east is complex and require a sensitive approach. I was disappointed with the remarks because I do not feel that they adequately address conflict in the middle east.”

Phalatse’s suspension will be pending an investigation ‘into the full and proper context of which the remarks were heard.’

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) also called on the mayor to ‘remove murderous apartheid Israel’s friend’.

“The pronouncements are a direct opposition to our struggle character as a country.”

Meanwhile, Phalatse responded to the backlash saying she expressed her personal views and recognised that they do not represent the views of the City of Johannesburg or the Democratic Alliance.

“It is the DA’s official position that we support a two-state solution, with a secure Palestine and Israel living alongside each other in peace and prosperity. This is a position I fully support.”

ALSO READ: City of Joburg MMC Mpho Phalatse suspended amid condemnation for her stance on Israel 

  AUTHOR
Chantelle Fourie
Metro Reporter

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