Suspension of Health MMC Phalatse an ‘attack on freedom of speech’

The Jewish Board of Deputies’ Marc Pozniak believes Mpho Phalatse is being blackmailed for exercising her basic constitutional right.

FILE: Suspended MMC for Health in Johannesburg Mpho Phalatse. Picture: @mphophalatse1/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - The Jewish Board of Deputies has reacted to the suspension of Johannesburg’s MMC for Health, calling it an attack on freedom of speech.

Earlier on Tuesday, Mayor Herman Mashaba suspended Mpho Phalatse for publicly declaring that the city is a friend of Israel.

Phalatse made the remarks at the South African Friend of Israel national conference over the weekend.

The Jewish Board of Deputies’ Marc Pozniak believes Phalatse is being blackmailed for exercising her basic constitutional right.

“This is an attack on free speech and freedom of association and it should be something in our opinion that concerns far more than the SA Jewish Board of Deputies.”

But Mashaba’s argument is that she shouldn’t have attributed her personal remarks to the city.

“My disappointment stems from the attribution of those statements to the City of Johannesburg on a matter of such emotional and sensitive nature.”

Mashaba has called on all councillors not to allow the breakdown of social cohesion in the city.