Fransman irks Jewish board

2013-03-12 20:09
Marius Fransman (Picture: Sapa)

Marius Fransman (Picture: Sapa)

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Cape Town - The SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) has approached the SA Human Rights Commission over recent remarks by Deputy International Relations Minister Marius Fransman.

It said it did so after Fransman did not respond to the board's requests for him to explain his remarks, SAJBD national chairperson Mary Kluk said on Tuesday.

She said Fransman condemned the Democratic Alliance on 27 February for allegedly giving building contracts previously held by Muslims to Jewish businessmen.

He was speaking as Western Cape ANC leader in a radio interview with Voice of the Cape.

Kluk said the substance and context of the remarks intimated that in Fransman's and his party's view, the Jewish community in Cape Town was unfairly benefiting economically at the expense of the Muslim community.

Kluk said the religious affiliations of the individuals allegedly concerned should have been regarded as entirely irrelevant.

Instead, Fransman made a point of drawing attention to them, and did so, moreover, in terms suggesting that Muslims were being unfairly disadvantaged to benefit Jews.

"It can only be inferred that his purpose in doing so was to solicit Muslim support for his party, by suggesting that a rival political party was promoting Jewish economic interests at the expense of Muslims."

Pitting one religious community against another for vote-catching purposes was deplorable under any circumstances, and particularly unacceptable when coming from a high-ranking member of government.

The board condemned attempts to pursue political goals through resorting to inflammatory practices.

Kluk said in the lead-up to next year’s national elections, it was imperative for political leaders to refrain from rhetoric that generated resentment and mistrust.

Read more on:    sajbd  |  sahrc  |  anc  |  marius fransman  |  cape town

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