South Africa will not bow to local pressure to cut ties with Israel, according to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“It’s often best when you want to solve problems to remain engaged so that you can have some leverage and this gave our president leverage to be able to send the two special envoys,” Ramaphosa reasons, according to the South African press.
Ramaphosa maintains that only a negotiated settlement would bring a lasting peace, but also clarifies that South Africa condemns Israel’s actions in Gaza.
“The government of South Africa has communicated its unequivocal and strongest condemnation of Israeli against Palestinians in Gaza to the government of the state of Israel, and we have done this through a number of measures,” he says.
Ramaphosa was responding to a question about MP Leigh-Ann Mathys’ assertion that maintaining diplomatic relations with Israel is akin to supporting “an apartheid state.”