AFRICANGLOBE – The government of South Africa has expressed outrage after Israel’s decision to deny a visa to the country’s Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande.
Clayson Monyela, Deputy Director General of Department of International Relations and Co-operation, told reporters on Thursday the Israeli government needed to offer a reason for the snubbing.
The minister was scheduled to travel to the occupied Palestinian territories from April 25-29.
He was scheduled to secure further collaboration with the University of Johannesburg and institutions in Palestine.
Nzimande’s spokesperson told local media that the denial of the visa had caused a “serious diplomatic problem”.
Naeem Jeenah, Director of Afro-Middle East Centre, based in Johannesburg, described the snubbing as “surprising” considering the two countries’ growing trade relations.
Jeenah said the Palestinian solidarity movement in South Africa “would be thrilled” with Israel’s decision “because South Africa now has to respond to this matter”.