By Algemeiner Staff - January 11, 2018
Originally appeared here in the Algemeiner
The king of South Africa’s Zulu nation has urged the country’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) to retain close ties with Israel, following last month’s vote by the ANC at its national conference to downgrade the South African Embassy in Tel Aviv to a “liaison office.”
King Goodwill Zwelithinii — the constitutionally-recognized monarch of the 12 million Zulus who make up South Africa’s largest ethnic group — told a delegation of the ANC’s senior leadership that he had developed a close relationship with Israel and the South African Jewish community since his 2009 decree introducing medical circumcision for boys in a bid to halt the spread of the AIDS virus.
According to the World Health Organization, there is “compelling evidence that male circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men by approximately 60%.” More than 700,000 males have been circumcised since the decree was issued by the king.
“There are two clinics that have been built by Jewish organizations in this kingdom,” the king told the ANC delegation, whose members included the new party president, Cyril Ramaphosa, at last week’s meeting.
“They came here because I requested them to come,” the king said. “They (the South African Zionist Federation and South African Friends of Israel) built these clinics the day I announced circumcision on December 6, 2009.” The two clinics, in Mathubathuba and Emondlo, provide HIV-related health services and education for the surrounding communities. Read More