Positioning Statement

The SAJBD is the umbrella representative spokesbody and civil rights lobby of the SA Jewish community. It promotes the safety and welfare of South African Jewry, including combating antisemitism in all its forms, and builds bridges of friendship and understanding between Jews and the broader South African population.   

The SAJBD clarifies case against Mngxitama hate speech

The SAJBD notes the confusion as to which equality court the Andile Mngxitama hate speech case should be heard in. The SAJBD lodged the complaint with the Johannesburg High Court, and they in turn, referred it to the Magistrate’s Court. The Magistrate’s Court have indicated that this was an incorrect referral. 

Milton Shain

LETTER: Veil off anti-Israel lobby

One must applaud Mzoxolo Mpolase for lifting the veil off the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement and its subversive actions (Israel boycott lobby has captured foreign policy of ANC and state, January 12).

The Rosh Hashanah 2017 Issue of Jewish Affairs

We are pleased to inform you that the Rosh Hashanah 2017 issue of Jewish Affairs has been posted to our website. To view previous issues from Pesach 2009, click here. The printed version will be mailed to subscribers shortly. As always, your assistance in widening the reach of the journal by forwarding these links to those who may be interested would be much appreciated.

​​The SAJBD is appalled by the crassly offensive, demeaning and hurtful comment made this morning by Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama.

In a tweet, Mngxitama wrote, “For those claiming the legacy of the holocaust is ONLY negative think about the lampshades and Jewish soap.” 
With this ugly, jeering remark, Mngxitama has portrayed not just the deliberate murder of Jewish people but even the supposed reduction of their remains to everyday objects as something to be treated as a joke.

Wendy Kahn

SA's unique role for Israel-Palestine peace

For the vast majority of South African Jews, the visit last week of a multi-party delegation of Israeli Members of Parliament (Knesset) has provided a welcome message of hope. It is a reminder that despite the destructive efforts of extremist factions aimed at perpetuating division and conflict, it remains possible for people of good will to find common cause with one another through dialogue and constructive engagement.

Successful Israeli Parliamentary Delegation reaffirms importance of dialogue

A delegation of Israeli Members of Parliament (Knesset) is currently on an official visit to South Africa. The delegation has met with leaders across the South African political spectrum, including with the ANC, DA, Cope, ACDP, IFP & FF+. The delegation also met with Jewish and Christian organisations, as well as the Business community.

Charisse Zeifert

Durban Jewish Exhibition

Since its initial conceptualisation in 1919, the historic Durban Jewish Club has been not only the centre of Jewish communal life in Durban, but a frequently used public space for the broader society. The building itself, "surrounded by bush, rippling dunes of corrugated white sand mingled with ochre earth", was officially opened on 4 May 1931. Since then, it has been host to generations of people, with a history that has witnessed wars and political unrest, conferences and public meetings and music and theatre performances. 

David Saks

Sara Gon compares the experience of Penny Sparrow with that of Bongani Masuku

“COSATU has got members here even on this campus; we can make sure that for that side it will be hell”

“COSATU is with you, we will do everything to make sure that whether its at Wits University, whether its at Orange Grove, anyone who does not support equality and dignity, who does not support the rights of other people must face the consequences even if it means that we will do something that may necessarily cause what is regarded as harm…”

David Saks

The Bongani Masuku Judgement - Implications for South African Law

Determining where the boundary lies between legitimate freedom of expression and prohibited ‘hate speech’ can never be an exact science. During the flurry of debate that took place around the controversial Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill earlier this year, this was something that came through especially strongly. Err too much on one side, and victims of genuinely hurtful and insulting verbal abuse are left without a remedy; err too much on the other, and a fundamental pillar of democracy is undermined. 

SAHRC on behalf of South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD), Emerge Victorious Against Hate Speech in the Equality Court

Today, the 29th June 2017, the Equality Court, sitting at the South Gauteng High Court, found in favour of the South African Human Rights Commission (the Commission or SAHRC) acting on behalf of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD), in a matter against Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) International Relations Spokesperson Bongani Masuku, as first respondent and COSATU as second respondent, for statements Masuku had made in February and March 2009, that have been found to be hate speech. The complaint was brought to the Commission in April 2009.