South African Jewry took a step closer to forging ties with Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress when the prestigious Jerusalem Club was recently addressed for the first time by a black speaker.
Cyril Ramaphosa, secretary-general of the ANC, told a capacity audience here that “there are long roads to walk together to shape the future of this country.”
The Jerusalem Club is sponsored by the joint Israel United Appeal-United Communal Fund Campaign. Its chairman, Tony Leon, a member of Parliament of the opposition Democratic Party, extended the invitation in what was described as a post-apartheid outreach effort.
Ramaphosa described the squalor of black squatter camps where there could be one water faucet for 15,000 people. “I’d like South African Jews, all of us true South Africans, to give them assistance to lead a decent kind of life,” he said.
The ANC official also spoke of violence in the black township of Alexandra where hundreds of families have been left homeless.
If such conditions existed in an upscale white suburb, the entire defense and police force would have been summoned to apprehend the perpetrators, he said.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.