Complaint against SA man who apparently fights for Israel


By Matthew Hirsch and GroundUp

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) has filed a criminal complaint against one Benjamin Rattle, a young South African man who is believed to be a member of the Israeli army.

The complaint was lodged at a police station in Cape Town. The activist organization claims Rattle is breaking at least one South African law with his alleged involvement with the Israeli army.

Since the outbreak of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, Rattle has made several posts on his social media, including Instagram. In one of these posts, a man, apparently Rattle, dressed in an army uniform with a machine gun in hand poses in front of several building traps. The location on Instagram is marked as Gaza.

The post is accompanied by a pro-Israel entry.

However, it appears on his social media accounts that Rattle has previously lived in Cape Town and Hermanus.

“The posts indicate that Rattle serves in the Israeli army as either a volunteer or a member, that he may be serving in the Gaza Strip in occupied Palestine and that he is proud of his role in the Israeli army,” says PSC in documents submitted to the police.

The organization says that while it cannot come to any definite conclusions about the posts and cannot identify Rattle himself on the posts, the organization nevertheless believes that the person in the posts may be Rattle.

The organization calls on the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the Minister of Justice, Ronald Lamola, and the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, to investigate and learn more about Rattle.

“By serving in the Israeli army and engaging in military action in Gaza on behalf of Israel, it appears that Rattle” violated the Rome Statute, says PSC.

The organization points out that the Foreign Military Assistance Regulation Act regulates the delivery of foreign military assistance by South African citizens.

“The law applies to all South African citizens and permanent residents and foreign residents who are within South Africa and prohibits such persons from providing foreign military assistance…

“If the person in the copies of the Instagram posts is Rattle, it appears that person has broken two South African laws and we are therefore submitting these criminal complaints to the appropriate authorities in South Africa for urgent consideration and investigation and, if necessary , prosecution.”

The organization says it has already obtained the signatures of 1,200 people with an online petition. Those who signed the petition call on the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, to prosecute South Africans who join the Israeli army.

GroundUP was in the meantime in contact with Rattle and the latter confirmed from the Middle East that he was currently stationed on the border of Lebanon.

Rattle also said he was proud to fight on behalf of Israel and “protect the Jews”.

“I think the South African government should be ashamed of its actions which endangered the Jewish community in South Africa and prevented Jews from trying to help the cause by coming home to visit their families,” among others, Rattle told GroundUP when asked.

  • This report was originally posted on GroundUp and is used with permission.