Jewish board satisfied with Hajaig apology

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) is satisfied with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Fatima Hajaig’s second apology, made after President Kgalema Motlanthe held “discussions” with her, it said on Thursday.

This followed a furore over alleged anti-Semitic statements made by Hajaig at a rally in Lenasia last month.

At a pro-Palestine rally in Lenasia on January 14, Hajaig reportedly said the United States and most Western countries were “in the hands of Jewish money”, and largely controlled by “Zionists”.

“The SAJBD commends President Motlanthe and his Cabinet for ensuring that Deputy Foreign Minister Fatima Hajaig has now made an unequivocal apology for, and full retraction of the unacceptable anti-Semitic statements,” the board said in a statement.

“The SAJBD thanks President Motlanthe and his Cabinet for the decisive and forthright manner in which they have addressed this serious matter.”

The board rejected a previous apology made by the deputy minister as “she had very clearly avoided addressing, let alone repudiating, the blatantly anti-Semitic sentiments originally expressed by her”.—Sapa

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