South African Jewish groups lament Israel’s refusal of visa for MP

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) and South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) issue a joint statement expressing the two groups’ “concern” over Israel’s denying a visa for Blade E. Nzimande, a South African MP and Minister of Higher Education, who wants to visit Ramallah in an official capacity.

The groups said the denial was “most regrettable,” since “regular interaction between Israel and South Africa and mutual visits of political leaders, parliamentarians and Government officials, as well as business people, media, tourists and family visits, are to the benefit of both South Africa and Israel and foster greater understanding between the two countries,” the joint statement said.

The two groups also noted that it was “unfortunate that, in recent times, South Africa has imposed restrictions on the free movement of officials between this country and Israel, and thereby on opportunities to engage in regular consultation and dialogue in the interests of peace and stability between the Palestinian and Israeli People.”