(JTA) – A regional branch of the ruling African National Congress will try to use the opposition party’s “close” relationship to Israel as part of its outreach to the Muslim community.
The ANC is “concerned" about the pro-Israel policies of the Western Cape region’s Democratic Alliance-led government, ANC Western Cape Leader Marius Fransman told the Cape Times, according to the South African Jewish Report. His party’s representatives would meet “with a cross section of communities” about the issue, the newspaper said. He added that Palestinians and their cause were “dear to local Muslims.”
Fransman, who is deputy minister of Internal Relations and Co-operation, was outlining his vision of the party’s electoral strategy when he made the comments.
The Western Cape is home to about 5.2 million people, according to the country’s 2007 Community Survey. The Muslim population in the Western Cape is estimated at about 500,000, according to the South African Jewish Report.
In 2004, posters appearing in Cape Town during a previous regional election included graphic images and the slogan, “A vote for the DA, a vote for Israel.” The ANC said at the time that it was not responsible for the signs.