South African opposition leader visits Israel, defying government policy

As the Hamas terrorist organization praised South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma for telling his citizens to not visit Israel, the country’s opposition head arrived in Israel this week.

Mmusi Maimane, head of South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party, ignored South African President Jacob Zuma’s policy against visiting the Jewish state. Maimane arrived in Israel this week for what his spokesman told The Citizen was a “private and religious trip.”

During the visit, Maimane met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday as well as with his Israeli counterpart, Opposition leader Isaac Herzog, chairman of the Zionist Union faction.

Maimane was harshly condemned by the African National Congress (ANC). “The ANC together with other progressive organizations and forces are not surprised by the DA’s visit to Israel and to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” said ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa.

“At a time when the world is increasingly standing up against Israel’s illegal settlements, including the United Nations Security Council, it is a pity that the DA is endorsing the Israeli regime instead of condemning its violations of international law.”

Maimane’s spokesman responded that Maimane was visiting Israel simply to “listen and learn about the conflict and the potential leadership role that South Africa could play.”

The Hamas terrorist organization had expressed its appreciation for South African President Jacob Zuma in calling upon South Africans not to visit Israel.

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“Hamas values the stance of South African President Jacob Zuma, who called for citizens of his country not to visit the Zionist entity, showing solidarity with the Palestinian people,” said the terrorist organization in a statement.

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News