Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has maintained that Cabinet has not taken a decision to close the Israeli embassy after the majority of parliamentarians voted in support of a motion to cut all ties with Tel Aviv.
Ntshavheni said Cabinet has not discussed the matter.
There was a separation of powers between the Judiciary, the Executive and Parliament.
The National Assembly voted on the motion to close the Israeli embassy two weeks ago, following the escalation in the killing of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
More than 14,000 Palestinians have been killed since the conflict began a few weeks ago.
The EFF tabled the motion in Parliament and it was supported by the ANC and other smaller parties.
The DA, African Christian Democratic Party and IFP voted against the motion, saying it would compromise South Africa’s efforts to try and mediate in the conflict.
Israel has since recalled its ambassador Eliav Belotsekorvsky for consultation. This was after South Africa recalled the remaining diplomats in Tel Aviv.
But opposition parties warned that cutting ties with Tel Aviv will impact on South Africa’s presence in the region.
Ntshavheni said Cabinet has not decided to close the Israeli embassy.
“Cabinet has not decided to close the Israeli embassy. You will recall in terms of the South African system that we have separation of powers between the Judiciary, the Executive and Parliament. Parliament can give guidance in terms of those matters that are in the purview of Cabinet and Cabinet will have to decide within its areas, having considered all matters that are at play. We have not had the discussion and remember I had indicated that we are not in a hurry to have that discussion as yet,” said Ntshavheni.
She said Israel recalled its ambassador and he was not expelled by South Africa.
Pretoria had no intention to expel Belotserkovsky.
The government respects Israel’s decision to recall Belotserkovsky for consultation, as they did with their diplomatic staff a few weeks ago.
Ntshavheni said they have been encouraged by the temporary ceasefire between Hamas and the Israeli government where there was an exchange of Israeli hostages with Palestinian prisoners.
This could be the stepping stone for a permanent solution to the conflict.