SAJBD welcomes apology over antisemitic comments

Senior SAJBD representatives, including the National Chairman Shaun Zagnoev, as well as one of the administrators of the Sneakerheads group (who cannot be named as he is a minor), were present. 

Zagnoev said that the meeting had been a very moving one for all concerned. There had been no doubt that both Seedat and Hattia were genuinely remorseful for what they had done and wished only to make amends. The comments made by family members who accompanied them likewise showed a sincere desire to address whatever harm had been done and move forward in a spirit of peace and reconciliation.   

The SAJBD welcomes the settlement. We are committed to building a South Africa where people accept and respect the right of others to hold different viewpoints, irrespective of whether or not we agree with them. We are further encouraged by the sincerity and goodwill that emerged during the meeting held between the parties and their legal representatives last night. That meeting took place immediately following Mandela Day, and was informed throughout by the spirit of reconciliation that Nelson Mandela epitomised. 

The administrator of the Sneakerhead whatsapp group, said that he had felt comfortable accepting the apologies, since those responsible genuinely regretted their actions. He further remarked on how positive a difference it made for those in conflict with each other simply to meet face to face to resolve the issues between them.

In terms of the agreement, Hattia and Seedat expressed sincere regret at having posted the comments, and unequivocally apologized in writing to the South African Jewish community and to the Jewish members of the Sneakerheads group.  It was also agreed that both would attend a programme at the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre to learn more about the importance of fighting bigotry and intolerance.

The SAJBD will continue with its legal action against Matome Letsoalo, who has enthusiastically continued his attacks against the Jewish community on social media (and even opened a new twitter account for this express purpose).

Recent Articles

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. 

THE REAL PROBLEM WITH IQBAL JASSAT’S LATEST SCREED

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.