South Africa threatens to prosecute citizens for serving in the IDF

The South African Foreign Ministry said serving in the IDF ‘can potentially contribute to the violation of international law and the commission of further international crimes.’

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

South Africa’s Foreign Ministry issued a stern warning on Monday, threatening to prosecute South African citizens who serve in the IDF if and when they return to South Africa.

The statement from the Ministry began with an expression of concern that many of its citizens and permanent residents “were considering joining the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in the war in Gaza and in the other Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

The statement continued, “Such action can potentially contribute to the violation of international law and the commission of further international crimes, thus making them liable for prosecution in South Africa.”

Further, the Ministry said, “Any person joining the IDF without the necessary permission of the NCACC is breaking the law and can be prosecuted.”

South Africa’s current law states that its citizens aren’t allowed to enlist in military service abroad, however, there are many exceptions, and South African citizens have secured permission to serve in the British Army, the American military, the IDF.

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Although the South African government has yet to prosecute any of its citizens for serving in the IDF, the recent warning raises concerns that this may be a possibility, given the country’s strong anti-Israel stance.

Often South African government officials draw comparisons between the plight of the Palestinian citizens and the circumstances of black South Africans under apartheid.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has accused Israel of “genocide” and recommended that the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigate Israel for “crimes against humanity.”

In response to Israel’s current war with Hamas, South African lawmakers voted to shutter the country’s embassy in Israel and to cut all diplomatic ties with the Jewish State.

In a vote backed by the ruling African National Congress party, the South African parliament voted 248 to 91 in favor of a resolution calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to close down the South African embassy in Israel and to freeze diplomatic ties with Jerusalem for the duration of the current war with Hamas.