South Africa

ANALYSIS

How the Israel-Hamas war is stirring up Western Cape politics

How the Israel-Hamas war is stirring up Western Cape politics
(Photo: Gallo Images / Die Burger /J aco Marais)

Is the DA underestimating the strength of feeling regarding the Israeli bombing of Gaza? Many in Cape Town feel so — but the DA says it isn’t worried.

“One bullet for the DA [Democratic Alliance], one bullet for the PA [Patriotic Alliance].” 

This slogan, attributed to Pagad — People Against Gangsterism and Drugs — is currently circulating in Cape Town. It targets the DA and the PA on the basis of what are felt to be inadequate stances from the parties towards the current bombing of Gaza by Israel — and the violence of the sentiment sums up the depth of feeling in fairly significant pockets of Cape Town when it comes to the attitudes of local political parties towards the war in Gaza.

Though the conflict is raging more than 8,000km away from the Western Cape, the intensity of the reaction in the province should not be underestimated. Here, many people find the position of the Palestinians deeply resonant, in terms of race, in some cases a shared religion, and a shared history of dispossession.

But outside of protests attended by tens of thousands of Capetonians — and many feel that the media routinely undercounts the number of protesters — the political debate around Gaza is increasingly moving away from mainstream media, as outlets find the volume of the discussion and its blowback impossible to manage. The Sunday Times recently announced in an editorial, for instance, that it would no longer be accepting commentary on the war, on the grounds that it was drowning out domestic issues.

National elections are, meanwhile, just six months away. And though it is highly unusual for South African voters to make international affairs key issues in domestic elections, some feel that this particular topic just might be an exception.

Smaller parties aiming to eat DA’s lunch on the matter

“The majority of Capetonians are not necessarily agreeing with the DA’s position on Israel,” believes Rod Solomons, a longtime community activist and the convenor of the SA1st lobby group.

“Once that voter is in that booth [for the 2024 polls] … it’s very, very early days to make a definitive pronouncement. But many people are hoping that [the Israel issue] will play a big role [in electoral outcomes].”

Solomons is working together with former ANC Western Cape leader Marius Fransman, suspended from the ANC in 2016 over sexual assault allegations, on a “People’s Convention” to be held in December to bring together people “inside civil society formations and outside of active politics” to discuss whether to launch a political entity to contest the 2024 elections.

Although the ANC in the Western Cape has all but collapsed, there are multiple smaller parties and organisations in the province champing to take a bite out of the DA’s electoral majority next year. In the Israel-Hamas war, they may have found a wedge issue.

Pro-Palestine feelings run particularly high in Cape Town’s Muslim community, but on the Cape Flats more widely the Palestinian solidarity movement is also strong.

A Social Research Foundation survey into South African attitudes towards Israel, published in November, found that 60% of surveyed coloured people — a percentage vastly higher than for any other race group — “strongly agreed” with the statement: “The government of Israel practises Apartheid policies against the people of Palestine.”  

Just 3% of surveyed coloured people “strongly disagreed”.

On 28 November, a media platform called Cape Flats Stories — boasting almost 230,000 followers — hosted a dialogue on Palestine and Israel in which representatives from a range of local political parties and activist groups were expected to nail their organisations’ colours to the wall when it came to the war.

From some, there was no equivocation. “It’s a genocide,” declared Al Jama-ah’s Shameemah Salie.

Neil de Beer, a former apartheid operative-turned-Umkhonto-weSizwe- agent-turned-leader of a party called the United Independent Movement, which is a member of the Multi-Party Charter, said that he was drawing on his personal experience of conflict situations in saying that Israel was violating the rules of war.       

“Israel must now stop, and withdraw, and reach consensus on international law,” De Beer said.

Other politicians attempted more of a diplomatic egg dance. Jerome Swartz, previously a provincial ACDP leader who has since established the Africa Restoration Alliance, said his party was not concerned with international issues.

“We are not running for government for Palestine,” Swartz maintained. After being forced to declare a position, he settled on: “Israel and Palestine are both wrong.” 

Pagad’s Cassiem Parker told the audience that what was happening in Gaza should be viewed as an “acid test” for SA political parties in terms of their response to racism.

“If you say to us you are more worried about what is happening in South Africa, then our acid test is: How can you tell us you are concerned if you are not concerned by racism? Surely, people of South Africa want to know: How do you as a political party view racism?”

Clarifying the “One bullet for the DA, one bullet for the PA” slogan, Pagad national coordinator Haroon Orrie said it was meant symbolically. “The concept and the ideology that they bring forth, that is what we have to eradicate.”

But the greatest heat of the night was certainly on Yusuf Mohamed, representing the DA as a councillor in the City of Cape Town.

“My position is exactly the same as my party’s,” Mohamed stated. Namely: a call for a “cessation to hostilities”, the right of return for Palestinians, a two-state solution, and agreement that “carpet-bombing” civilians is a war crime.

DA in the hot seat externally and internally over Gaza issue

External observers may be confused by the anger directed at the DA on this issue. The DA has not, after all, refused to criticise Israel — as is the case with the Patriotic Alliance. Indeed, the DA’s stance is relatively progressive by international (at least US) standards.

But its condemnation of Israel, such as it is, has often been syntactically obfuscated in the statements the party has put out on the matter.  

To give one such example: “We recognise the way in which actions of the Israeli government, including the expansion of settlements deemed illegal under international law and, in some instances, by the country’s own Supreme Court, has contributed to obstructing the path to peace.” 

The party has also faced internal contestation on the handling of the issue.

Daily Maverick understands from party insiders that the refusal of DA leaders to call plainly for a “ceasefire” has been a source of contention for multiple party representatives. Instead, the DA has called for “urgent humanitarian pauses in the fighting” — a distinction which might seem semantic, but is significantly weighted in the context of the current debate.

Asked by Daily Maverick this week why the DA does not endorse a total ceasefire in the conflict, the party’s spokesperson on international relations, Emma Powell, responded: “The DA has repeatedly called for an urgent resolution to this abhorrent war. This requires a negotiated settlement that will ensure lasting peace in the region.”

This has not been good enough for those both within and outside the party for whom the conflict rings very close to home.

One was the former DA spokesperson on public enterprises Ghaleb Cachalia, who was relegated to the parliamentary back benches as a result of tweets he posted describing Israel’s actions in Gaza as “genocide”. The argument from party leadership was that Cachalia had violated “a formal decision of the DA’s national caucus” as to what the party’s public stance on the matter would be.

Cachalia declined to comment on the matter to Daily Maverick this week.

Since his demotion, however, Cachalia has published an op-ed in Business Day in which he affirmed the “special significance” of freedom of expression for parliamentarians. Although the column was not targeted in any specific way at the DA, Daily Maverick understands that party leadership was unhappy with it.

Cachalia’s treatment has not gone unnoticed in the Western Cape and has seemed to pour petrol on the already existing resentment over the DA’s positioning on this matter.

A few common themes come up repeatedly in conversation: a belief that the DA is pandering to a few Zionist donors at the expense of its all-important brown voters; a sadness that there is not greater solidarity from both the DA and the Western Cape’s white population on this issue; and a suspicion that the DA’s current position represents a modulation, with an eye on elections, intended to balance a history of more explicitly pro-Israel positions that are not easily forgotten by Cape Flats voters.

A sign of the atmosphere of mistrust: rumours and misinformation are spreading like wildfire on social media. Most recently, the claim went viral that the City of Cape Town had prohibited Bo-Kaap residents from painting pro-Palestine murals on the external walls of their homes. The city said that no such prohibition had been issued.

What will count on election day?

The DA’s Powell told Daily Maverick that the party had undertaken polling which found “the war does not appear to be a priority that is impacting our polling results.

“Our experience, borne out by the empirical results of field polling and focus groups, indicates that voters remain primarily concerned about the effect of the many domestic crises which affect their daily lives. These are unemployment, load shedding, crime, education and corruption.”

The Social Research Foundation report on South African attitudes to Gaza at least partly bears Powell out. Of supporters of the ANC, DA and EFF, DA voters were the least likely to “strongly agree” that Israel is imposing apartheid policies against Palestinians. Of the three biggest parties, DA supporters were the most likely to “strongly disagree”.

The six months until the 2024 elections is a long period in South African politics, and past research suggests that when voters are at the polls, what predominantly motivates them are issues much closer to home.

The other question is: If Western Cape voters currently threatening to break faith with the DA over this issue actually do so, where will they go? Parties trading specifically in provincial identity politics, like the National Coloured Congress, have previously failed to make a discernible impact. The Muslim party Al Jama-ah may pick up some votes, but off a very low base: it currently has just one representative in the Western Cape legislature.

Patricia de Lille’s Good party has adopted a much stronger pro-Palestine attitude than the DA, but De Lille’s position within the ANC Cabinet of Cyril Ramaphosa may well be mistrusted.

There is, at this time, no clear beneficiary of a Western Cape electoral protest against the DA.

It is also too early in terms of international politics to tell exactly how the Israel issue will make itself felt in other countries — but there is no doubt that the matter is roiling domestic politics in many countries.

In the UK, the conflict could not have broken out at a worse time for the opposition Labour Party. In its strongest position for years, it has since lost more than 30 councillors to resignations over its refusal to call for a ceasefire in Gaza, while no less than eight shadow ministers quit in mid-November. DM

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Joe Soap says:

    One can understand the ANC support for Hamas as a means to divide the western Cape.

  • Cornay Bester says:

    Those radicalised since the 8th of October is bound to fight those radicalised on the 7th of October.

  • Colin Braude says:

    The ANC is playing the RaceCard and drumming up antisemitism in the Western Cape.

    Again.

    The more the DA succeeds in fixing the Western Cape and getting it prosperous, the more the ANC lust to capture the positions and tenders.

  • R S says:

    I suspect as things in SA continue to deteriorate that voters focus will shift back to local issues. Come that time voters will look at what affects them on a day-to-day basis and decide.

  • Willem Boshoff says:

    The DA has basic zero impact on the conflict in Gaza but they are delivering water, electricity, sanitation and a generally functioning City. Vote with your head; not your heart!

    • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

      We cannot ignore bias, we might be far from Gaza but the sentiments from parties who want to rule this country must be aware how the Israel occupation resonates with our past theirfore their responses to the Palestine situation should be well balanced unfortunately you cannot be fair to this situation if you fail to see that the power to end this dilemma is in the hands of Israel as the occupier, not that they dont know but the benefit out weighs the reasoning on their part, if any party wants to win the elections they need to understand that black people are a majority in this country and they have a very traumatic experience with occupation and this issue in Gaza will contribute in the voting next year, if the attitude from parties raises suspicion on the support in of the events with regards to logic and colour line, people will be prepared to stay with the ANC pain, my advise to DA and PA is that the ground is ripe for you guys to put your mark as there is a huge hunger for proper governance in this country dont shoot yourself in the foot

  • Hilary Morris says:

    “We all see things as we are – not as they are.” In addition we are all subjected to real and false information, bombarded by rumours, drowning in prejudices of all kinds and open to narratives that reinforce our belief systems. The only certainty is that thousands of innocent people have been killed and that war is both ugly and brutal. All ideology depends on adherents to survive. We’re a very long way from seeing the other as part of ourselves.

  • John P says:

    Anybody who goes to the polls to cast their vote based on a party’s policy regarding the Middle East must then feel that all is well in South Africa and that the ANC is doing a great job.

    • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

      I’d like to believe this too John, but the ANC has been looking like it’s out of ideas of late and this may be just the hook they need. Have you ever seen our President and Ministers work harder than in the last few weeks? They may not have the South-African-in-the-street’s best intentions at heart, but they are the wiliest politicians.

      • John P says:

        Yes it is a very old strategy, get attention on problems away from home and hope to deflect anger from local rulers to somewhere else. I do however feel that the large majority of South African voters are more concerned about their next meal than lofty ideals elsewhere.

  • Louis Potgieter says:

    Agreed that voters are more energised by local issues. Agreed that opposition parties will use Israel as a wedge issue. Now consider how this matter can become a touch-stone for potential first time DA voters in deciding the palatability of DA policies.

  • Cunningham Ngcukana says:

    What one had said was that the War on Gaza will be on the ballot in the Western Cape and Emma Powell is lying that it is not a priority for voters. The Palestinian issue evokes emotions in communities that have felt the brutality of colonialism, occupation and oppression and the DA can ignore that to its peril. The Middle East political situation have always been part of the South African politics throughout the struggle and in particular in the Western Cape. As people who have been part of the struggle we fully understand the Western Cape politics in relation to issues in the Western Cape and this includes the issue of Iran. The varied approach on the issue of Palestine in Western Cape from moderate to the extreme has been what the leadership of the liberation movement had to navigate during the struggle and after the struggle. The emergence of extremism in Israel through Netanyahu narrowed the views on Israel because the brutality of the Israel regime and the suffocating blockade of Gaza was the last straw that broke the back of the camel. Anything just to do with Netanyahu is equal to war crimes and genocide. The current conflict has exacerbated the situation with the images coming out of Gaza. The moderate Muslim Judicial Council one knew that it would find it hard to tamper the language given atrocities in Gaza and West Bank. There is no issue that is very emotive as the Palestinian issue. Personally I have never believed in the Oslo Accords as I consider them a fraud.

    • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

      couldnt say it better myself Cunningham, people must get out of the western cape box like its another country and look at the bigger picture, people who want to govern must know everything happening out of south africa affects us one way or another, occupation is a south african nightmare the DA cannot afford to look away, infact they should be condemning Israel the most we need them for good governance which we desparately need but if they are seen to be soft on a nation that is occupying another one they can kiss their ruling south africa ambition good bye and we are all going to poverty, Australia is now applying strict rules on emigration so they must start helping to fix this country and stop confining themselves to the western cape, they must call the occupation what it is we need DA

  • jacki watts says:

    Hillary’s observations need to be considered seriously… Ideologies become tyrannies when we do not take a step back and consider all sides dispassionately.

  • Alexis Kriel says:

    It is interesting how people, politicians….every Jew, is being terrorised into silence.

    • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

      Not sure I agree with this. There are many, like me, who don’t feel terrorised at all. Yes, there is a lot of noise, and yes, our government has this completely wrong (as do many others), but certainly there is nothing fundamentally different today in South Africa. I am overtly Jewish in in appearance and have yet to experience antisemitism in public. The only antisemitism are the keyboard cowards on these forums and social media, or maybe those who think they are being brave, hiding their faces and spewing bile at pro-Palestinian marches. Without fail I am always greeted with a smile, a polite hello and friendly conversation. In general people respect those who respect themselves, but in particular South Africans are the nicest people in the world, which is why we aren’t going anywhere.

      • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

        i wish you can be elected in Israel and teach then how to handle diversity, they are doing everything wrong that is why i call Jews Jews not Israeli’s unless i know they support the occupation nonsense otherwise it will be an insult to Jews who were once a subject of Genocide in Germany, you chose well to come to south africa

  • Lisbeth Scalabrini says:

    It is far too easy to compare the situation of Palestine with apartheid. In reality, there are many more differences than similarities.

    • Kanu Sukha says:

      You are the ‘expert’ … and correct … only it is significantly worse in Palestine ! I did not realise until recently that ‘detention without trial’ which I personally experienced here during the ‘struggle’, is in this day and age still ‘lawful’ in Israel ! Imagine the many thousands that that regime has and is holding “hostage” with that provision ? Oh … by the way, all those ‘prisoners’ it has released in the recent ‘deal’ … it is free (as the ‘occupier’) to terrorise and recapture (or better still kill) whenever it wants !

  • Angus Baker says:

    Reading this analysis gives me hope for balanced news, by critical thinkers. The descendants of the slaves brought to the the Cape from the Eastern and Middle Eastern regions, have proudly hold on to their religion and customs. They are still in their thousands make sacrifices to go on pilgrimages to the Holy cities of Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem. A large number of this people become involve in politics. One must remember that their slave ancestors came from societies that were civilised when the Europeans were still living in caves and wearing animal skins. During the struggle years they were in most cases in leadership positions. After 1990 their activities in the political life of South Africa changed, with more alternatives as goal. A large number of them were in the Broad Democratic Movement under the ANC leadership. However the ANC known as a broad church with members of different political ideologies. It was therefore easy for the NP/DA to sell their policies to the descendents of the Islamic slaves and the descendants of the Aboriginal people . The Apartheid system have condition these groups to make them ripe for picking. For centuries they were kept separate from the Bantu people in South Africa and the “coloured” people were condition too not trust black people and vice versa. Their languages were banned and they were forced to use Afrikaans. When the times for election came about the ANC had a problem, in that like the demographics of South Africa was mirrored in the ANC. The Coloured contingent in the ANC was very small with the result that during campaigns Xhosa, Zulu, Sohto, Swazi and other Nguni, Sotho and Tswana speaking cadres had to address the coloured rallies. In almost 70% of the campaign events there were at best limited understanding of the ANC’s messages. In the few instances where people like Dr. Alan Boesak, Rev. Chris Nissen, Ambassador Shaun Byneveldt, Prof Jakes Gerwel and Dr Franklin Son, Trevor Manuel, Johnny Issel, Jay Naidoo, Dullah Omar, Cheryll Carolus and others addressed rallies or gatherings, the elections in those voting areas were predominantly won by the ANC .
    Since the 1994 election in the period leading to now, The world have changed especially on the Electronic and communication made possible by the Internet. Followers of the Islam (called slams) religion in South Africa have been traveling constantly to the Middle East, they have family and friends there. Even those in the Coloured Group who are non Islam is in sympathy with there friends, even the descendants of the Khoi-San have have Genes of those Islam slaves as large number of the Eastern slaves escaped slavery and were adopted and protected by the Khoi-San tribes. It is noticeable that under the mixed blood people of South Africa there is a swing toward full support for the palestinian cause.
    It would seem that the Israeli support is mainly found in a few Parties, parties that want the Jewish capital input into their campaign funds. The DA with only 20% in the last election boast with the biggest war chest for the Election. The leader of the PA, a convicted criminal shouts out his support for Israel when he gets a chance.
    All that being said there has been only one country that have backed up their rhetoric with action against Israel, they are marching on Israel. If the countries proclaiming to support Palestine would follow suit, a solution for the 70 year problem would be found quickly. Should South Africa, the People’s Republic of China, The Russian Federation, North Korea, France, Australia, Turkey and others sends troops, forming a peace force and stop the American Warmongery. How can one find any empathy or Sympathy with the Jewish race for the 2nd world war Holocaust if one compare the actions of Hitler and Netanyahu.

    • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

      Angus there are so many points to take issue with, but here are just 2:

      1. Are only the Muslim descendants of the Cape entitled to “proudly hold on to their religion and customs”? I thought freedom of religion was constitutionally enshrined, and all religions are also so entitled. Would you afford Jews who fled European pogroms and the Holocaust the same entitlement?

      2. You ask, “How can one find any empathy or Sympathy with the Jewish race”? Hitler tried to classify Jews as a “race” too. You live in South Africa, and this is a shameful, racist attitude.

      As for your analysis, with your Axis of Evil (trying to slip France and Australia in, who certainly are not pro-Palestine at a state level, making sure to exclude Iran – all noted) – fat chance! Have you noticed how vocal Germany and Japan have been in support of Israel? Interesting how some have learnt from their own very recent history the consequences of wanting to exterminate the Jews.

    • Dietmar Horn says:

      “One must remember that their slave ancestors came from societies that were civilised when the Europeans were still living in caves and wearing animal skins.”

      I don’t know what school you went to. If you had paid attention in history class, then you would know that:
      1. When Europeans were already living in houses and wearing woven cloth, a human rights-based civilization did not yet exist in other parts of the world.
      2. The Europeans are descendants of the original Africans who emigrated in the first wave of Out-of-Africa migration.
      3. In ancient times, slavery was a generally recognized form of labor market policy and since the early Middle Ages, the Arabs, who were forcibly converted to Islam, undertook the most brutal slave raids on the African continent.
      4. The first Christian sailors who landed on the west coast from the 15th century onwards were undoubtedly guilty of buying native slaves from the native chiefs (whom they did not know were their cousins) and shipping them across the Atlantic.
      5. It was ultimately “Western” governments that put an end to slavery in the 19th century, after human rights principles began to take hold there.

    • Ken Shai says:

      That is a great review thank you! Probably the effect of war on Gaza would be to shift support of the colored and Muslim communities away from DA, would you agree?

  • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

    In case anyone was wondering – the Muslim population of SA is 1.6%.

    In case anyone else was wondering – Jewish does not mean white. There are white, black and brown Jews. South Africans may have only experienced Jews as white / of European descent because over 95% of us here are descendant from Lithuanian Jews who escaped the pre-WW2 pogroms and/or the Holocaust. Israel has over 2.5 million Mizrahi / Sephardic Jews, descendants of the Jews who fled Arab countries (all middle-eastern), and over 200,000 Ethiopian Jews. Of the USA’s 7.2 million Jews, at least 12-15% (just over 1 million, or 1 in 7) are Jews of Colour.

    • Dragon Slayer says:

      I did not know the origins of the majority of South African Jews🤔 Just that I have incredible respect for their resilience, fortitude and the philanthropy work they do behind the scenes. I will also never forget a Jewish matriarch saying that she ( maybe she meant Jews in general?) does not believe in being born with rights – only obligations. If that is true it is something we could all live by.

  • Ken Shai says:

    DA’s support of Israel is surely unpopular, yet they stick with it. Perhaps the best explanations are donations that DA is attracting, R36 million from billionnaires #1 among any party. This is the American way, a political party serving its donors rather than voters, and DA is adopting this way.

    • John P says:

      I believe all or at least most parties rely on donations from wealthy people or organisations. The ANC in particular appear to be beholden to their donations from Russian oligarchs.

      • Ken Shai says:

        No donations from Russian oligarchs to ANC is absolute fabrication, but US is using its network of NGOs to finance opposition in a strategy that it definitely is trying to replicate here. Besides, ANC has less than 1 million rand donations, the last in table. And wealthy Jews are using donations to bribe parties into supporting Israel.

        • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

          Yet another armchair critic giving their opinion as though it is fact. We’d all love to know which “wealthy Jews are using donations to bribe parties into supporting Israel”, and how you know that there are “no donations from Russian oligarchs to ANC”.

          I could just as well say these “facts”:
          I happen to know that wealthy Jews are NOT using donations to bribe parties into supporting Israel” and “there ARE MANY LARGE donations from Russian oligarchs to ANC”.

          Your opinion is just that – an opinion. Unsubstantiated, at very best (and most likely, prejudicial nonsense).

  • Madani Garder says:

    PALASTINIANS have SACRIFICED their LIVES and continue to do so to awaken and show the world that ZIONISM is a CANCER to HUMANITY. This ZIONISTS ISRAELI REGIME has committed countless ATROCITIES since their inception and the ‘civilised’ western world, viz USA, Canada, EUROPE, Australia and even some Middle Eastern countries (Arab States) has always shown a blind eye or condoned the GENOCIDE that is happening in PALASTINE and the GENOCIDE that occurred in the GULF STATES in the name CAPITALISM & IMPERIALISM to their respective regions & beyond. The Zionists control the World Bank, the IMF, control of the lobbies which dictates American policies and Governments, the ownership of
    the MAJOR CORPORATIONS across the globe, ownership of the majority of MEDIA outlets in order showcase the ZIONIST NARATIVE.
    Closer to home, in the Western Cape & RSA, the various political parties that DO NOT strongly CONDEMN the ATROCITIES & GENOCIDE that the ZIONIST APARTHEID ISRAELI REGIME is and has been inflicting on the PALESTINIAN people for over 75 years indicates that THEY DO NOT CARE about the HUMAN SUFFERING & MURDER of ALL LIVES. If that is the case, then it stands to reason that they would not care about its people that they would likely govern, or that they would only care about a few people of a certain colour skin, and/or only care about the few wealthy conglomerates, corporations & individuals that they can mutually benefit from in order to keep them in ‘power’, not only financially. The DA, ACDP, PA, ARA has shown their true colours on this GENOCIDE. The ANC, alas, has forgotten & abandoned their freedom charter and had proven after 30 years of ‘democracy’ that they are unable to govern this country, even though they have, at certain times,
    condemned the ZIONIST APARTHEID REGIME. The DA only caters for the wealthy few. Orchestrating the GENTRIFICATION processes where the wealthy & privileged are able to purchase parcels of land in the inner city affordable to them, but not the working class or even the poor. They also facilitate these processes by charging exhorbatant rates & taxes on properties on the ordinary property owners and therefore, indirectly forces the owners to sell the properties to the wealthy. Case in point, the easy facilation of CoCT for sale of the River Club Development (LPPT) to the e-commerce conglomerate AMAZON, which by the way, was one of many controversial sales.All of the political parties mentioned above, will NOT get my vote…I rest my case.

  • Glyn Morgan says:

    A ceasefire is required, but only as a start. The rest will take years to sort out. An equitable solution is a requirement in the long term.

    We, in South Africa, have an immediate problem to sort out. We need to get the ANC OUT SOONEST.

  • Joe Public says:

    I think the ANC’s clear and very vocal condemnation of the constant bombing of Palestinians will definitely sway many brown WC voters towards them. Even if foreign affairs is ignored, what have the DA done for people of the Cape Flats in terms of jobs, better education, safety, drugs etc. Nada! Maybe they are gatvol and will consider an alternate party that looks beyond Constantia & Camps Bay

  • vjbergh says:

    The only party currently taking away votes from the DA in the WC is the PA. They are unashamedly pro Israel. That alone blows the whole tenet on which this opinion piece is based out of the water.

    • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

      you dont get it we want the DA to contribute in forming a government to take this country out of the mess it is in, their pro Israel stance scares people with the aspect that they support an occupation that is based on the race of a particular nation, that makes us loose hope since the ANC blames apartheid to hide their failures and the DA is playing straight into the trap

  • Richard Fitzpatrick says:

    If you are so fickle that you will base your vote on a conflict 9500kms away over which you have no control and has no effect on you, or base your vote on the potential of ridding us of the anc on your own doorstep, which has a daily effect on you, then you really need to ask yourself some questions.

  • Alex Delides says:

    The ANC’s double-standards are astounding! Their stance on Russia’s invasion into Ukraine and the bombing of civilians there is NEUTRAL. They are clearly using the Middle East situation to try and gain votes in the Westrrn Cape so they can loot and destroy that province too.

  • I understand in 1948 the British supported the Arabs because there were 40 million of them and only 300,000 Jews.
    It seems God is on the side of the Jews because they have multiplied notwithstanding.
    God did after all give the land to the Jews.
    Just pointing out the facts😳

    • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

      Not to mention 156,000 Arabs in Israel in 1948 vs 1,200,000 now and 80,000 Arabs in Gaza vs 2,000,000 now.

      Whether they care to recognise it or not – the “dessert has bloomed” for them too …

  • L Dennis says:

    I will keep praying for our beautiful country. God bless the DA

  • John P says:

    Ryan Islam is no more a violent religion than is Christianity, there is much blood on the hands of most faiths through the ages.

  • Know Best says:

    The DA have a proven track record of service delivery in the province. This is a very niche issue and so I do not see it as a factor. I would be disappointed if the party abandoned their integrity by parroting the ANC on this deeply complex issue. As the main opposition party, it is heartening to see the difference between the DA and the ANC. I find it very egregious that the government was slow to condemn the heinous attack on Israel on 7 October, in which SA nationals were also murdered and taken hostage. As Hilary Clinton has said, there was a ceasefire in place and Hamas broke it on 7 October.

  • Dietmar Horn says:

    Dear Pet Bug. I can understand your reaction very well. But please reconsider your decision. I and many others would greatly miss your constructive contributions.

  • jcdville stormers says:

    Rebecca Davis is a good reporter,the reactions of everyone proves the heading of the article,she is not anti DA or anyone.Dont know who is believers and of what faith,but maybe all the comment givers should do well to pray for peace,whatever your faith.

  • krafts1 says:

    DA, we will not forget, we will not forgive. Our vote is no longer yours.

  • Sean Falconer says:

    I feel that this issue, and the anger and animosity it engenders, has a strong historical basis. Just as we have seen ANC members standing by Russia, in spite of its invasion of Ukraine, due to the support that the Soviet Union gave to the freedom struggle during the apartheid years, so I believe some people in SA may feel a similar allegiance to Israel, due to that country’s support for and trade with SA during that same period. In both cases, that historical allegiance may affect, perhaps even cloud, people’s view of those two countries now.

    Irrespective of one’s views on the Israel-Palestine situation, it saddens me that some people’s votes in the upcoming SA elections could be decided solely on what a party’s stance is about a conflict 8000km away, and nothing to do with local issues, initiatives or leadership.

  • There’s no doubt that technically the da can run the city better than the anc..
    In circa 1994 I said that if the best man to fix or maintain our water supply happens to be an awb fellow then give the job to him.. I still stand by that statement…
    But if that awb fellow turns around and preaches oppression says nothing against 75 years of dispossessing peoples’ land .. kills 15,000 civilians in 50 days using phosphorous bombs hospitals.. apartment buildings .. causes 80% of the population to be without shelter food water medications fuel etc.. then let him and his supporters go to hell…

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