Thousands of South African supporters of Israel marched through the streets of Pretoria, the capital, on Wednesday, demanding the reinstatement of South Africa’s envoy to Israel, along with an end to the efforts of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to further downgrade diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.
Rallying on Wednesday outside Union Buildings — the seat of the South African government — the predominantly Christian marchers, totaling around 5,000 in number, carried placards reading “SA Bless Israel” and “No Cutting Ties With Israel.” South Africa’s ambassador in Tel Aviv, Sisa Ngombane, was recalled to Pretoria on May 14 as a gesture of solidarity with the violent Palestinian demonstrations on the Israel-Gaza border.
Political party leaders at the rally included Mosiuoa Lekota of the Congress of the People (COPE) and Rev. Kenneth Meshoe of the African Democratic Christian Party (ADCP), South African news outlet IOL reported. A petition with 41,000 signatures urging the restoration of ties with Israel was presented to the South African presidency’s office.