South Africa – Al Jama-ah leader calls for arrest of Jewish leaders

Ganief Hendricks

Cape Town – The leader of South African political party Al Jama-ah has called on the South African Police Service (SAPS) to “arrest Zionist bodies in Cape Town”, claiming they are “after our students at UCT [the University of Cape Town].”

The call was made by Ganief Hendricks, a founder member of the extremist Al Jama-ah party and member of parliament (MP). He made the comments on a Facebook post, which was later deleted. Then on 29 May, he shared a video of clashes in Israel, saying, “This is why I asked [the] minister of police in the police budget vote to arrest the officials and members of the two bodies in Cape Town supporting all of this and not condemning.”

His remarks were in response to the firm stand taken by the Cape South African Jewish Board of Deputies (Cape SAJBD) against the Israel hatred which has been allowed on UCT’s campus, and the harassment by protesters outside the Cape Town Jewish community’s campus. This campus includes a shul, a library, two museums, and a kosher restaurant.

“It’s a criminal offence to support racism and apartheid Israel,” Hendricks said in parliament. “The United Nations resolution on apartheid makes it mandatory for all member states to support the resolution against apartheid; Amnesty International has recognised apartheid as a crime and has called for the Israeli authorities to be held accountable for apartheid crimes.”

Al Jama-ah publicly called on the SAPS to execute the arrest of the “two bodies” (assumed to be their leadership) which he said were “advocating for racism and apartheid Israel”. However, SAPS spokesperson Andre Traut told the SA Jewish Report that he couldn’t comment unless a case was actually opened.

“The Cape SAJBD is appalled at the false accusations and clear threats against the Jewish community made by the leader of the Al Jama-ah party, Ganief Hendricks,” said Cape SAJBD Executive Director Daniel Bloch. “His attack on the Jewish community in South Africa is unbecoming of a leader in parliament.

“The Al Jama-ah comments were in response to the Cape SAJBD’s recent statements, and there have been further comments made by PAGAD [People Against Gangsterism and Drugs]; the Palestine Solidarity Campaign; and the UCT Palestinian Solidarity Committee. As usual, these organisations spread misinformation and lies to make their case. This is a clear example of how anti-Zionism blurs with antisemitism.”

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