The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) has refuted media reports that South Africa’s Ambassador to Israel Sisa Ngombane has returned to Tel Aviv for official reasons.

DIRCO says Ambassador Ngombane is still recalled for consultations and has not resumed his duties as an Ambassador for South Africa in Israel.

Some media reports claimed that Ngombane had returned to his post in Israel. But Dirco has now clarified that South Africa’s position has not changed, and Ambassador Ngombane travelled to Israel to deal with urgent family and personal issues.

The department says he is expected to return to South Africa as soon as these are completed.

In May, Pretoria withdraw the ambassador after 55 Palestinians were shot dead and 2 400 injured after Israeli forced fired live ammunition in Gaza ,during a protest against the inauguration of the United States embassy in Jerusalem.