South Africa's Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor threatened online by 'Israeli agents' after ICJ Gaza case

South Africa's Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor threatened online by 'Israeli agents' after ICJ Gaza case
Naledi Pandor said she has spoken to the police over worries for her family’s security after receiving threats from suspected Israeli agents.
3 min read
10 February, 2024
South Africa's Naledi Pandor has been vocal critic of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land [GETTY]

A senior South African politician said on Thursday she received threats from suspected Israeli agents after the country took Israel to the International Court of Justice over allegations of genocide in its war on Gaza.

Foreign Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor said she believed that Israeli intelligence agents were trying to intimidate her after she and her family members received online threats.

In an interview with Johannesburg radio station Salaamedia at South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation address on Thursday, Pandor said she had spoken to police over worries for her family’s security.

"I felt that [it would] be better if we had extra security," she said in a video shared by Salaamedia.

"But what I’m more concerned about is my family, because in some of the social media messages my children are mentioned and so on, but this is par for the course.

"The Israeli agents, the intelligence services, [this] is how they behave, and they seek to intimidate you, so we must not be intimidated. There is a cause that is under way."

Pandor has been a vocal critic of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land and has compared it to South Africa’s apartheid system, which lasted for over 40 years.

South Africa’s case against Israel at the ICJ for genocide has been regarded as a landmark moment in the struggle for justice for Palestinians and an attempt to hold Tel Aviv accountable at the highest judicial level in the world. 

The preliminary ruling by ICJ judges ordered Israel to do all it can to prevent death, destruction and any acts of genocide against Palestinians in the territory.

But last week, Pandor said that Israel was ignoring the ICJ as hundreds of civilians in Gaza have been killed since the January 26 ruling.

In the interview on Thursday, Pandor said that the South African government was determined to see the ICJ case through.

"We talked to the South African people; they understand why it is we have taken up this moral course," she said. 

South Africa’s historic decision to challenge Israel at the international court put it at odds with many Western governments which have unequivocally supported Tel Aviv's war on Gaza since it began on 7 October.

Since then, Israel's ground and air assault against the Palestinian enclave has killed almost 28,000 Palestinians, most of whom are civilians.