South African Opposition Leader Visits Israel Defying Travel Ban

South Africa main opposition party Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane gestures as he addresses the crowd of supporters during a campaign rally on April 23, 2016 at the Rand Stadium in Johannesburg, ahead of August municipal elections. South Africa's main opposition party launched its campaign by targeting black voters disillusioned …
GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty

The Times of Israel reports: The head of South Africa’s opposition met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Wednesday, mere days after the country’s president reiterated Pretoria’s longstanding travel directive discouraging senior officials from visiting Israel.

Mmusi Maimane, who heads the Democratic Alliance party, arrived in Israel earlier this week on what officials called a private visit focused on fostering business ties. He was accompanied by three senior DA lawmakers, including Michael Bagraim, a former chair and president of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies.

Maimane, who has been the leader of the South African opposition since 2014, also met with his Israeli counterpart, Isaac Herzog, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and several Foreign Ministry officials. His visit was mentioned on the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s monthly list of official visits.

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