The South African Police Services (SAPS) has reaffirmed that it will enforce arrest warrants issued by Turkish authorities against four Israeli commanders. The South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) previously questioned the legitimacy of media reports the local police force would act upon the warrants, issued in relation to the now infamous 2010 raid on the Mavi Marmara vessel. The ship was used as part of a flotilla seeking to break the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip.
The four accused, former Israeli Defence Force (IDF) chief of Staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, navy head, Eliezer Marom, head of military intelligence, Amos Yadlin and air force intelligence head, Avishai Levy all reportedly face arrest should they set foot on either South African soil.
Attorney Ziyaad Patel, who represents a Capetonian victim of the raid, Gadija Davids, says the position by SAPS has been vindicated by a letter written by Brigadier Hangwani Malaudzi to Independent Media, which published the original report.
“For Palestine solidarity movements this is an important decision and a victory. It also goes out to say to Israel that it cannot continue to commit crimes with impunity,” he notes, adding that the warrant comes after five years of intense investigations into the Mavi Marmara attacks.
The “appropriate sections” of the letter will be made public at a press conference at Constitutional Hill, Johannesburg on Tuesday.
Patel has also assured that the SAZF are not in possession of any private and confidential information related to the case. This follows a call made by SAZF to Independent Media to publish confidential communications between itself and those legally representing Davids.
“If there are any enquiries as to this decision that was made (by SAPS), they must go an approach the South African police authorities to get the necessary information they require,” he adds.
More information on the warrants is likely to be revealed at Tuesday’s press conference. VOC