In response to the pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protests clash in Cape Town last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on South Africans not to allow the Israel-Gaza conflict “deepen divisions” in the country.
The president said this in his weekly letter saying the clash was “troubling and unacceptable”.
The South African leader and the ruling ANC have expressed solidarity with Palestinians.
He earlier took a swipe at an Israeli newspaper for describing his government’s support for the Palestinians a sign of the country “encouraging pogroms” against the South African Jewish community.
The letter further appealed to South Africans to not turn against each other over the conflict in the besieged enclave adding that “support for the Palestinian struggle cannot be equated with antisemitism”.
Recall that the South African government withdrew its entire diplomatic staff last week from Tel Aviv for consultation over Israel’s military offensives on Gaza.
Chad, Chile, Bolivia, Bahrain, Jordan, Turkey and Colombia are among those to have taken similar steps.
Pretoria has long been a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause, with the African National Congress (ANC) party often referring to their resistance to its own earlier struggle against apartheid.