South African delegate to Hague says Jews go to ‘church’, prompting ridicule

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said that in South Africa Jews ‘attend churches in peace’


South Africa’s Justice Minister, Ronald Lamola, speaks ahead of the genocide hearings against Israel (Credit: Social media)

A senior member of South Africa’s delegation to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is being mocked for saying the country’s Jewish population goes to church.

The country’s legal team began presenting its genocide case against Israel at the ICJ in The Hague, Netherlands, on Thursday.

Speaking ahead of the hearings, South Africa’s Justice Minister, Ronald Lamola, said: “In South Africa we’ve got a number of Jewish people doing business, living with us, and they also attend their churches in peace.”

The comment was quickly ridiculed by social media users, who among other things accused the legal team headed by Lamola of being “underqualified” and “ignorant”.

The South Africa Jewish Board of Deputies released a statement on December 31 claiming their country “continues to humiliate itself in the international arena.”

Another article published on the SAJBD website on Thursday accuses the South African government of harbouring “contempt” over the Jewish community’s concern about antisemitism.

Lamola heads South Africa’s ICJ team, which also includes senior government officials and legal minds such as Deputy Ambassador for South Africa to the United Nations, Doc Mashabane, Director-General in the Presidency, Phindile Baleni, and Director-General of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Zane Dangor.

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