Leader of the Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus), Piet Groenewald, said Herman Mashaba had created a very difficult situation for the coalition at the City of Johannesburg.
The FF Plus is in coalition with the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Johannesburg. However, it is not amused by what it feels is now a clear stance from Mashaba on the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
South Africa’s governing African National Congress (ANC) has always been open about its support for Palestine, which Groenewald believes hampers the peace process in the region.
He feels the worst thing that could have happened was for a high ranking DA politician to take sides too.
Central to this storm was Mashaba’s decision to suspend Mayoral Committee member Mpho Phalatse, for making pro-Israeli statements.
“The DA has shown that it has taken sides in the Middle East matter between Israel and Palestine,” said Groenewald on Tuesday.
“By doing this, the DA is siding with the ANC government who also openly took sides in the conflict by withdrawing its ambassador from Israel last month. South Africa could still have played a reconciliatory role in finding a solution for the Israel/Palestine issue, but these actions have destroyed our opportunity to do so. Unfortunately, the DA fell into the same pitfall as the ANC,” added Groenewald.
“The FF Plus, being a coalition partner of the DA in Johannesburg, does not agree with Mashaba’s actions. The FF Plus believes that the matter is extremely complex and that one cannot take sides when attempting to bring about reconciliation and peace.
“Just like any other country in the world, Israel is a sovereign state with rights and that must be respected. Interested parties that are sincere in their search for a solution must reach out to both sides and not turn its back on either one of the two.”