Ngombane in Israel for personal reasons: Dirco

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

South African Ambassador to Israel, Sisa Ngombane, has not resumed his diplomatic duties to Tel Aviv, but has travelled to Israel in his personal capacity, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) has confirmed.

Reports at the weekend suggested that Ngombane had returned to Israel to resume his duties.

The ambassador was recalled in May following what the department termed the “indiscriminate and grave” manner in which scores of Palestinians were killed in attacks by the Israeli military. At the time, Dirco said the recall was effective until further notice.

On Monday, the department said Ngombane had not resumed duties, despite media reports stating otherwise. 

“The South African Ambassador is still recalled for consultations and has not resumed his duties as an Ambassador for South Africa in Israel,” Dirco said in a statement. 

Dirco confirmed that Ngombane had recently travelled to Israel but said this was in his personal capacity.

“Ambassador Ngombane travelled to Israel to deal with urgent family and personal issues. He is expected to return to South Africa as soon as these are completed,” the department said.

Dirco added that the conditions that prompted the recall of South Africa’s ambassador to Israel for consultations in Pretoria have not changed.

“Any change in status in our diplomatic relations with the State of Israel will be communicated by the department after due consultations with the President of South Africa,” Dirco added. –