South African Jews lay criminal charges over anti-Semitism

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) has laid criminal charges against three individuals who allegedly posted threatening and anti-Semitic comments against the Jewish community last week, the board said in a statement Thursday, according to The Huffington Post.

Ian Levitt Attorneys laid the charges at Sandton police station against the individuals, identified as Muhammad Hattia, Tameez Seedat and Matome Letsoalo.

According to the statement, Letsoalo’s series of tweets included: “@sajbd The #Holocaust Will be like A Picnic When we are done with all you Zionist Bastards. F*** All Of You “. In another tweet, he allegedly described Jews as vermin, who Hitler should have exterminated completely, said the SAJBD.

The other offending comments, allegedly by Hattia and Seedat, were posted on a WhatsApp group that buys and sells footwear. Hattia allegedly wrote, “F*** you jew pricks. Fat nosed f***s …. I hope you and your family die. Hitler f***ed up he should’ve killed you all (sic).”

Seedat allegedly posted a similar comment afterwards, in which he allegedly said: “You f***en Jew / Zionist will see your time coming. Make our fellow brothers and sisters suffer, but what you don’t understand is that worse will be coming your way (sic).”

SAJBD national chairperson Shaun Zagnoev said, “It is totally unacceptable that anyone in South Africa should be defamed, demeaned and threatened in such horrific terms on account of their religion, race, ethnicity, or other such grounds. We are appalled by the sheer depths of the hatred expressed against our Jewish community by these three individuals and will do whatever is necessary to make them accountable.”

“The SAJBD calls on all political and faith-based leadership to stand together against all forms of hate. We cannot stand idly whilst individuals blatantly flout our hard-won constitutional rights,” said Zagonev.

Anti-Israel sentiments remain prevalent in South Africa, where the ruling the African National Congress (ANC) party recently called for the downgrading of the South African Embassy in Israel due to what it said was the “lack of commitment from Israel on Palestine.”

Last month, the South African government withdrew its ambassador to Israel in protest of the deadly violence along the Israel-Gaza border on May 14.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation claimed in a statement the victims were taking part in a “peaceful protest” against what it called the “provocative inauguration” of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.

60 Gazans were killed in riots on that day, but Hamas openly admitted that most of those killed were members of the group.

The government in South Africa has frequently accused Israel of applying a policy of “apartheid” towards Palestinian Arabs. One such example was when the ANC party proposed new rules regarding dual citizenship meant to stop South African citizens from joining the IDF.

In another example, the county’s Foreign Minister slammed Israel’s plans to build new homes in Jerusalem, saying she was “losing sleep” over the size of “Palestine”.

More recently, South Africa’s Sports Minister boycotted a Davis Cup tennis match against Israel, citing “Israeli discrimination and occupation.”

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