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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Pandor’s security beefed up amid threats to her and children over ICJ case against Israel

Pandor said despite the personal cost of taking on Israel, South Africa will see the ICJ matter through.

In the midst of South Africa’s case against Israel’s at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor’s security has been beefed up amid threats against her and her family.

South Africa approached the World Court seeking several orders, including for Israel to immediately suspend its Gaza offensive; to stop forced displacement; to enable humanitarian access to thousands of displaced Palestinians; and to preserve evidence.

Pandor and children threats

In its judgment, the ICJ ordered Israel to take “all measures within its power” to prevent acts of genocide in Gaza.

Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Thursday night, Pandor told journalists she believes the threats are related to the ICJ case.

The minister did not disclose who the threats were from, but confirmed Police Minister Bheki Cele had to strengthen her security detail.

“I spoke to Minister Cele because of the various messages I was getting and I felt it would be better if we had extra security. What I am more concerned about is my family because in some of the social media messages, my children are mentioned and so on.”

ALSO READ: Netanyahu rejects Gaza ceasefire deal thwarting US hopes

SA will see ICJ matter through

Pandor said despite the personal cost of taking on Israel, South Africa will see the ICJ matter through.

“This is part of the course, the Israeli agents intelligence services is how they behave and they seek to intimidate you. So, we must not be intimidated, there is a course that is underway. The people of the world and of Palestine, didn’t draw back when the apartheid state was at its worst.

“They stood with the liberation movement, so we can’t stand back now, we must be with them and I think one of the things we must not allow is a failure of courage. It’s extremely important we continue with this, we talk to the South African people and they understand why it is that we have taken up this moral course,” Pandor said.

SA a safe place

While the ICJ has fragmented some communities in SA and with Pandor and her family receiving threats , Justice Minister Ronald Lamola last month rubbished claims that South Africa is antisemitic towards Jewish people in the country.

Lamola said South Africa is a safe place for Jews.

“In South Africa there is no threat, harm or whatsoever to the Jewish people. They continue to participate in all forms of social life. As you speak to me now, nothing has happened to him [Sakstein] and nothing will happen to him or any Jewish community on the basis of their creed, sex or religion.”

In response to this, the SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) claimed there were 139 antisemitic incidents in the country between October and December last year

ALSO READ: WATCH: ‘There is no antisemitism in South Africa, it’s safe for Jews’ – Lamola

Peace and tolerance

In November last year, Ramaphosa, in his weekly newsletter “From the Desk of the President”, urged South Africans to guard against the Israel-Palestine conflict turning South Africans against each other.

The president said the conflict between Israel and Palestine had long been a “polarising conflict” that has deepened divisions in societies and communities way beyond the Middle East.

Ramaphosa said the conflict in Gaza called for solidarity, tolerance and dialogue

“No matter how strong our views on this matter, we must guard against this conflict turning us against each other as South Africans.

“Our Constitution protects everyone’s right to freedom of opinion and expression, to freedom of association and to demonstrate … There is no place in South Africa for violence or threats of violence against those who hold contrary views. Nor is there any place for any form of prejudice, racism or chauvinism,” Ramaphosa emphasised.

Ramaphosa alleged a genocide was unfolding in Gaza and “we had a moral duty to act.”

ALSO READ: WATCH: ‘There is no antisemitism in South Africa, it’s safe for Jews’ – Lamola

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