Former president FW de Klerk told a Cape Town conference last Sunday that an ongoing breakdown in the democratic contract in South Africa could lead to “problems” for the Jewish community.
Mr De Klerk told the gathering, organised by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, that while the government had failed to implement some of the provisions in the constitution on diversity and language rights, citizens were not claiming those rights.
Mr De Klerk said that South Africans should “do everything they can to uphold our constitution”, which created a “safe space” for all groups by recognising the rule of law and multi-party government.
“If we deviate from that, I see big problems ahead, also for minority communities,” he said.
Also at the conference, Aubrey Katzef, chairman of Likud Cape Town, argued that “Open Shuhada Street is an extremely anti-Israel organisation and there’s no room in this community for people like that.”
Cape Board executive director David Jacobson said he had noticed “an alarming increase in vilification among Jews who disagree. It’s not about creating consensus but an environment in which one can passionately disagree, and allowing space for others’ views.”