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SA Ambassador to Israel loses the plot

SA Ambassador to Israel loses the plot

Azhar Vadi | Salaamedia | 07 October 2016

South African Ambassador to Israel, Sisa Ngombane, let loose in an almost drunken stupor, his true feelings regarding the occupation of the Palestinian people and the suffering they have had to endure over the last 7 decades.

And it wasn’t a pleasant experience to say the least.

Ngombane, a longstanding career diplomat accompanied Leigh-Ann Naidoo, a South African activist, back home from Israel after she was kidnapped in international waters some thirty odd nautical miles off the coast of Gaza. She was part of a crew of 13 women aboard the Zaytouna- Oliva, a small boat that recently left Spain heading for the port of Gaza. Their simple stated objective was to bring hope to a devastated people.  The boat was intercepted by the Israeli navy in traditional style, unwilling to hear sense, enforcing self created laws of the sea amounting to little more than modern day piracy.

On Friday, 07 October 2016, Leigh-Ann returned to her family and a crowd of euphoric supporters at OR Tambo International airport in South Africa. Tagging along was the South African ambassador, Mr Ngombane. Although he had sacrificed his time to make sure Naidoo was not harassed enroute, perhaps he would have done better to stay in Israel.

At a presser arranged at the airport, the ambassador was given an opportunity to read out the official Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) statement on the matter. Presenting before his fellow senior staff members also in attendance, Mr Ngombane, veered from the statement to express his personal opinions. And that’s when things started to look like a pear.

“The war that broke out (Israel’s invasion of Gaza in 2014 in which over 2000 people were massacred, the vast majority of them being civilians), had started in the West Bank,” he said.

“The West Bank suffered gravely because three or two Israeli children were abducted and killed whilst in a neighbourhood in the West Bank. Of course that gave a good excuse for the Israeli Defence Force to go door-to-door  in West Bank. This is an untold story and of course Gaza got the headlines because planes flew to Gaza and bombarded Gaza. But the untold story or the less known story that it is the Palestinians in the West Bank who live day to day with the IDF. And of course when actions, they may be well intended, are taken which provoke this type of thing, those families are in the forefront.  We must always remember that (sic).”

The ambassador didn’t get a chance to say much more. The chairperson of the meeting and Women’s Boat to Gaza spokesperson, Zeenat Adam, stepped in and prevented him from making a further spectacle of himself, blaming Palestinians for the trauma inflicted upon them by Israel.

Her interjections however only roused the stupor level. Ambassador Ngombane refused to stop even when the crowd of supporters had started to loudly hackle him. “No, no, no,” he repeated. “I’m going to finish my statement.” Putting on his spectacles he began reading the official statement without letting go of the mic.

The statement contradicted the sentiments of the ambassador, which unlike him stated that the grave situation in Gaza had been “compounded by the Israeli blockade” and was not the likely consequence of Palestinian actions in the West Bank.

What was worrying to note, that according to the statement from DRICO, a request to provide urgent consular services to Leigh-Ann via the South African mission in Israel was delayed to the morning of 7 October 2016, the same day of her deportation.

Another attempt by the ambassador to express his personal opinions was stopped by Adam for a second time after completing the statement, upon which he became visibly aggressive in tone and behaviour.

“Don’t bulldoze me,” he angrily shouted at Adam. “I respect women but don’t bulldoze me.” In his defence of Israeli aggression perhaps he had forgotten the bulldozing of Palestinian homes.  “No, no, no,” he kept shouting embarrassingly. “I’m not a small boy.”

It took the graceful and soothing voice of Leigh-Ann to bring the ambassador back to his senses and allow her to tell her story and what she had experienced being part of the Women’s Boat to Gaza.

Although the antics of the ambassador did deter the attention of those present from the real purpose of the gathering, it opened up an inner understanding into the man who the South African government had deployed to possibly the most volatile and split regions of the world. A position requiring the utmost balance and sophistication.

It was clear that he had chosen to ignore the 70 year occupation cake, creamed with the blood of thousands of innocent Palestinians, and instead accepted the very controlled and deliberate Israeli narrative as to what and who was to blame.

His extended time in Israel serving for the last four years had perhaps taken its toll on him. Could it have been a case of the host making the guest’s bed exceedingly comfortable, to put him into such a deep sleep that he becomes unaware of the host’s criminal activities in the darkness of the night. It may seem that Ambassador Ngombane has been knocked out cold during his last four years abroad.



  1. Haha!
    Brilliant ?
    These idiots who support the crock of shit “Palestinian ” cause can’t handle the truth
    It’s so funny ?

  2. Palestine never existed, the Jewish people have been in Israel ?? for 3000 years. Loads of History supports this, radical Muslims are terrorists and kill innocent people daily in terror attacks, people and children are used as human shields. Israel has every right to protect itself.

    1. Interesting thing about your logic is that you would be OK if all the people of Celtic ancestry would be entitled to go back to Britain France etc and expel the Anglo Saxons because there is loads of history that supports the fact that the Celts were in these areas before any others. And I guess you would also say that the USA belongs to the native Americans as they were there first huh and what about Cannanites Medianites etc they were in Palestine before the hebrews. By your standards South Africa would only belong to the Khoi and San people. See how flawed your logic is.

      Israel defends occupation and theft while the Palestinians are resisting Israels brutal occupation and theft. Israels borders are well known and recognised as Israel confirmed their borders in UN document S/766. Just in case you are not familiar with it here is a little “Question (a): Over which areas of Palestine do you actually exercise control at present over the entire area of the Jewish State as defined in the Resolution of the General Assembly of the 29th November, 1947. In addition, the Provisional Government exercises control over the city of Jaffa; Northwestern Galilee, including Acre, Zib, Base, and the Jewish settlements up to the Lebanese frontier; a strip of territory alongside the road from Hilda to Jerusalem; almost all of new Jerusalem; and of the Jewish quarter within the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. The above areas, outside the territory of the State of Israel, are under the control of the military authorities of the State of Israel, who are strictly adhering to international regulations in this regard. ” There has been no recognised annexation since then.

      If you want to know about terrorists then look at those whom the great Albert Einstein called terrorists and you will find that (Tnuat Haherut) the father of the Likud party was the group who he called terrorists. I agree with that great man.
      The law of no title by conquest came into being after WW2 and is in the UN charter so the Zionists are a little late to be stealing land by conquest. BTW BenGurion had a Palestinian passport and used the Palestinian Pound before Israel even came into being.

  3. OR maybe (unlike the person writing this article) he has actually spent a proper amount of time in Israel and can see for himself that the Palestinian narrative of “the 70 year occupation cake, creamed with the blood of thousands of innocent Palestinians” is an utter lie and not true! But yet he is bullied for trying to tell the truth!

  4. “It was clear that he had chosen to ignore the 70 year occupation cake, creamed with the blood of thousands of innocent Palestinians, and instead accepted the very controlled and deliberate Israeli narrative as to what and who was to blame.”

    Of course, this statement, and the spirit of your article, is the epitome of “balance and sophistication”. Shame on you, unhumanitarian journalist.

  5. The ambassador is correct. Your opinion on his viewpoint is disgraceful. The Arabs living in Gaza, the West Bank and refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria have been held hostage by the Arab League for 68 years. The Ambassador has had to endure weeks of indiscriminate bombing of civilians by Hamas and the constant threat of being murdered by knife wielding arab children. For Leigh Ann Naidoo to risk her life in support of this issue is simply daft.

    1. What you mean is that the Palestinian refugees refuse to give up their right of return to their houses and farms from where they were ethnically cleansed by the Zionists. First came the zionist ethnic cleansing, the Zionist occupation and theft of land then came the resistance to the Zionist ethnic cleansing, Zionist occupation and theft.

  6. Or maybe having lived in the country now for four years, has seen a side to the narritive that you dont want to believe or don’t want told. Similar to how some people didn’t want certain SA politicians to go to Israel and see both sides for themselves, scared they would see a completely different picture to one painted by BDS and the corrupt ANC government. Not quite the response you were hoping for…

  7. Everyone has an opinion on this matter.
    And many including the ambassador do not agree with your view of the situation.
    Many others place the blame of the conflict and the suffering of the Palestinian squarely at the feet of Hamas.
    Disrespecting the ambassador is really uncalled for.

    1. You clearly have incentives to squat in stolen Palestinian land. Hamas came long after European terrorists came to dispossess the Palestinians of their country


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