SAJBD laid criminal charges against three individuals who posted threatening and grossly antisemitic comments.

Earlier today the SA Jewish Board of Deputies, through Ian Levitt Attorneys, laid criminal charges at the Sandton Police Station against three individuals who posted threatening and grossly antisemitic comments against the Jewish community last week.  The three against whom the charges were laid were Muhammad Hattia, Tameez Seedat  and Matome Letsoalo. 

Letsoalo’s series of tweets included the statement, “@sajbd The #Holocaust Will be like A Picnic When we are done with all you Zionist Bastards. F*ck All Of You”.  In another tweet he described Jews as vermin, who Hitler should have exterminated completely. 

The offending comments by Hattia and Seedat were posted on a whatsapp group devoted to the buying and selling of footwear.  After the administrator of the group refused to allow further political comment relating to the Middle East on this site, Hattia wrote, “F*ck you jew pricks. Fat nosed f*cks …. I hope you and your family die. Hitler f*cked up he should’ve killed you all”

Seedat posted a similar comment afterwards, in which he noted:  “You f*cken Jew / Zionist will see your time coming. Make our fellow brothers and sisters suffer, but what you don’t understand is that worse will be coming your way”

SAJBD National Chairman, Shaun Zagnoev said that the unusually virulent and overtly threatening nature of the comments posted was the reason why the SAJBD had decided to lodge criminal charges.  “It is totally unacceptable that anyone in South Africa should be defamed, demeaned and threatened in such horrific terms on account of their religion, race, ethnicity, or other such grounds.  We are appalled by the sheer depths of the hatred expressed against our Jewish community by these three individuals and will do whatever is necessary to make them accountable”.

The SAJBD calls on all political and faith based leadership to stand together against all forms of hate. We cannot stand idly whilst individuals blatantly flout our hard won constitutional rights.

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The SAJBD was heartened by an email we received from Mr Solly Hattia, a member of the Muslim community.

“My experiences living amongst a Jewish community.  My first engagement with Jewish people began when the company I worked for merged with a Jewish family-owned-business and to whom I was then to report to as my new CEO.  My first encounter with my new Boss, Ronnie Norwitz, was on a Friday when he came down to my office at around 12 looked at his watch and said “Solly aren't you going to be late for your Friday prayer?”  Never before in all my years of working, had I ever had this courtesy from a boss!  His other interesting comment on my return from the Mosque was all ways, "Friday's are good days ".  Ronnie would always say this with the gesture of a clenched fist swinging his arm through the air as if he was going to hit someone.  He always greeted me with a smile and a kind word.  Braai days at work you would find him at my fire naturally. 

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At the biennial conference of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies Gauteng Council next week, Gauteng Jewry will have the first opportunity of engaging directly with President Ramaphosa since his assumption of the presidency earlier this year. Rather than delivering the traditional keynote address, Mr Ramaphosa will be exchanging views with eminent business leader Stephen Koseff on challenges currently facing South Africa, what the Jewish community is (or could be) doing to help address them and how each sees the future of the country and its people. In other words, it is not about what this country should be doing to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian, or any other foreign policy issue, but is framed as being a South African conversation between fellow South Africans on South African issues.