DA removes Cachalia over comments on Israel’s actions in Gaza

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The Democratic Alliance (DA) has removed Ghaleb Cachalia as Deputy Shadow Minister of Trade and Industry, over his comment on Israel’s attack on Gaza.

In a letter to Cachalia, DA leader John Steenhuisen described the MP’s behaviour as selfish and pursuing narrow self-interest above the common good.

Steenhuisen said this action must be met with appropriate action.

In his comment, Cachalia said “I will not be silenced, Israel is committing Genocide.”

According to the DA, this went against a caucus decision that its Shadow Minister for International Relations and Cooperation Emma Powell would be the only spokesperson on the Israel-Gaza war.

‘Overstepped party’s rules’

Political analyst Professor Andre Duvenage says Cachalia may have overstepped the party’s rules by sympathising with Hamas in the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

The decision to remove Cachalia was communicated through a leaked letter from DA leader John Steenhuisen.

Duvenage says political parties should offer individual members an opportunity to exercise freedom of speech according to their conscience.

“I think there is a connection between the DA and Jewish in terms of groups. And I think the sympathy is probably when it comes to the ANC. It’s the opposite as their sympathy is with Gaza and the Palestinians. In that sense, we know it’s going to be a difficult election. The leadership of parties should be clear with policies with regard to certain issues.”

More than 3 700 children killed

Reports say more than 3 700 children have been killed since Israel’s bombardment of Gaza started almost a month ago.

Israel said it has a right to protect its sovereignty after Hamas fired rockets at that country from Palestine.

The UN has described Gaza’s situation as a humanitarian crisis.

UN experts have also warned that the Palestinian people are at grave risk of genocide, calling for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

VIDEO: South African government joins the world to condemn the violence: