South African Jews, Get The Hell Out Of There!

I have never really understood Jews who have decided to remain in South Africa.

Sure, I understand one can live a relatively affluent life.

But what good is it to live in a mansion, when you have to like a virtual prisoner in it?

What good is it to drive a fancy car, when you have to worry about getting car-jacked if stationary at some red lights?

I have never actually lived in South Africa, but some of my best friends have, and this is the picture they have portrayed.

A picture they portrayed before recent events.



South African Jews should emigrate to Israel as soon as possible because a pogrom here is “only a matter of time”, says former Israeli foreign minister and deputy prime minister Avigdor Lieberman.

He was responding to International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane saying South African ministers did not visit Israel and would not until the situation in that country had improved.

“Ministers of South Africa do not visit Israel currently. We have agreed to slow down and curtail senior leadership contact with that regime until things begin to look better.

“The struggle of the people of Palestine is our struggle,” Nkoana-Mashabane was reported as saying by Sapa.

Lieberman said the South African government had created an anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic atmosphere.

“I call on all Jews who still live there to come to Israel as soon as possible and without delay, before it is too late,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

The SA Jewish Board of Deputies and SA Zionist Federation said Lieberman’s comments were “alarmist and inflammatory”.

“It is misguided and irresponsible to assert that their consequences might be so extreme as to lead to actual pogroms against the Jewish community.”

I’m with Lieberman on this.

The leader of the African National Congress in South Africa’s Western Cape Province has claimed that 98% of landowners in the city of Cape Town are white and “people in the Jewish community”. But, as Africa Check discovered, South African property records only listed the race of owners prior to 1994 and not their religion.

Ninety-eight percent of land and property owners in Cape Town are “white” and “Jewish”, Marius Fransman, the Western Cape provincial leader of the African National Congress, claimed in an address to the Cape Town Press Club recently.

“The reality is … 98% … of the landowners and property owners actually is the white community and, in particular, also people in the Jewish community,” the South African Press Association quoted him saying.

Fransman made similar remarks during a radio interview in February this year, claiming that the opposition Democratic Alliance – the dominant political party in the Western Cape – had given “Jewish businessmen” building contracts previously held by Muslims in two Cape Town suburbs.

In the wake of Fransman’s most recent comments, the South African Jewish Board of Deputies lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission and Ben Turok, an ANC MP, wrote a letter to the organisation’s secretary general calling for Fransman to be disciplined.

Fransman, who is also South Africa’s deputy minister for international relations and co-operation, denied his comments were anti-Semitic, adding: “I unreservedly apologise for the perception what was created that I was singling out the Jewish community.”

Is there any evidence to support Fransman’s claims?

When Africa Check contacted Fransman on Tuesday this week, he said the 98% figure was based on “the ownership profile of people and companies that rented buildings to the province and the city in Cape Town’s CBD”.

Asked if he had done an audit of the race of property owners in Cape Town and, if so, how, Fransman replied: “I would not just throw out a figure that is a thumbsuck … Ninety five percent to 98% is still in the hands of the white community and white individuals. If you take properties rented by province and the city this is the case. You need to look at the lease agreements and the ownership of these properties. You have to look at the supply lines and that is where you get to these figures.”

According to Debra Gouws, a Cape Town lawyer who specialises in property law, it is impossible to identify the race of a property owner based on deeds issued after 1994, the year in which South Africa held it’s first democratic elections.

“In the case of older deeds it is possible to ascertain the race of the owner, although I have seen some older deeds in which it is not recorded,” she said. Pre-1994 deeds listed race as, for example, “white group” or “coloured group” and also carried the identity number of the owner, said Gouws. Apartheid-era identity numbers included codes denoting the racial groups of identity document holders. But with racially coded identity numbers a thing of the past, it is no longer possible to use this to ascertain a person’s ethnicity.

Title deeds also do not state the religion of an owner, nor have they ever done so, Gouws said.

‘Impossible’ to determine the race of property owners

A department of rural development and land reform audit, released in September, found that while 80% of South Africa’s land is privately owned, it was impossible to determine the extent of black ownership.

South Africa’s surveyor-general, Mmusa Riba, said at the time that the department had been unable to work out how much of South Africa’s private property was owned by black or white people or entities, as title deeds did not include a racial classification of the owners.

This could change. The Electronic Deeds Registration Bill proposes that title deed holders be required to submit information on their ethnicity.

In a statement released today, the Western Cape provincial minister of transport and public works, Robin Carlisle, said “Fransman is 100% wrong – yet again”.

Carlisle said the provincial government’s “five biggest leases” were:

  • the Protea Assurance Building, owned by Oasis, “a black-owned, Sharia-compliant company”;
  • the Waldorf Building, which is “privately owned by Mr Moosa Baba of Cameroon”;
  • 35 Wales Street, which is owned by the Government Employee Pension Fund;
  • Golden Acre, owned by Growthpoint Properties, a JSE listed company;
  • Grand Central Building, owned by Ascension Properties, “a black-managed and substantially black-owned JSE listed company”.

Carlisle said Fransman would have “signed or dealt with every one of these leases in some regard at some time during his tenure” as provincial minister of public works.

Conclusion – There is no evidence to support Fransman’s claims

There is no data to support Fransman’s contentions. The last time race was recorded in title deeds was prior to 1994. The religion of property owners is also not recorded.

The same applies to the owners of businesses or trusts that own properties, as information on race and religion is not required by South Africa’s Companies and Intellectual Property Commission.

Fransman’s comments appear to be little more than a cynical attempt to win over Muslim voters in the Western Cape ahead of next year’s elections in South Africa. In interviews, Fransman has repeatedly vowed that the ANC will “reclaim” the Western Cape from the Democratic Alliance and has reportedly accused the DA-led provincial government of having a “close” relationship with Israel.

“We recognise there are at least 1.3-million Muslims,” he said in one interview. “It is very important to have a strong relationship, not for their voting, but because they were part of the fight for liberation.”

Yep. Get the hell out of there before it really is too late.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media