Mohamed Ameen Dabhelia - 2017/02/16
The Executive Director of the Afro Middle East Centre (AMEC), Na’eem Jeenah, says the appointment of Joel Pollak to the United States Ambassador’s seat in South Africa hinges on his links to Stephen Kevin ‘Steve’ Bannon.
Bannon serves as the assistant to US President Donald Trump and is a chief strategist in the ruling US administration.
Speaking to Radio Islam’s Ml Sulaiman Ravat on Sabahul Muslim this morning on the possibility of Pollak making a return to SA as an ambassador, Jeenah said the link between Pollak and Bannon can be described as deep rooted.
“They were both together at the Breitbart news agency, which is why he believes he will assume the position of ambassador to South Africa, because in their circle, he knows the most about the country.”
Pollak still holds the position of Editor-at-Large at Breitbart, which is an ultra-right news site, which in itself is controversial.
“He was born in Johannesburg to South African parents who had immigrated to the US, he then returned to SA to obtain a postgraduate degree at the University of Cape Town and served as Tony Leon’s chief speechwriter.” Jeenah added.
Leon is a former leader of the Democratic Alliance.
Pollak describes South Africa as his “native” country and still refers to Western Cape Premier Helen Zille as a “family friend.”
However, many in South Africa are sceptical about Pollak and his political views, something even Zille expressed on Twitter.
So @helenzille are u going to distance yourself from right-wing, islamophobic Trumpist bigot Joel Pollak? Or are these ur alt-right vanguard— shuaib manjra (@ShuaibManjra) February 14, 2017
@ShuaibManjra I disagree pilitically with Joel. In SA he was first an ID supporter, later DA. Now he's in a very different political place.— Helen Zille (@helenzille) February 15, 2017
Jeenah says that Pollak is a Zionist and a pro-Israeli supporter.
“This was proven when he wrote a book, severely attacking former Minister of intelligence Ronnie Kasrils, particularly for Kasril’s position on Palestine.”
Jeenah emphasized that whoever becomes the next ambassador to South Africa, will push a ‘Trumpest agenda’.
“They will try to put countries in a line and change the policies of trade, security and the war on terror. It will be a racist agenda judging Trump’s response in the United States.”
Jeenah suggests that the next US Ambassador to South Africa’s trump card will be enforcing the American agenda, no matter what.
(Edited by Hesley Harmse)