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”.
Really inspires confidence that the South African delegation really know what they’re talking about...— Adam Ma’anit (@adammaanit) January 11, 2024
“In South Africa, we have got a number of Jewish people doing business, living with us, and they also attend their churches in peace.”🤦♂️ pic.twitter.com/ZZhTNSZeq1
Can’t wait to tell my Rabbi about this at Church tomorrow night https://t.co/tyBrNW9Owj— Daniel Sugarman (@Daniel_Sugarman) January 11, 2024
Inshallah I hope all my Jewish brothers and sisters have a good time at church this weekend https://t.co/R3HBldbymS— John Aziz (@aziz0nomics) January 11, 2024
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.