South Africans don't hate Israel, they hate oppression, South Africa's Ambassador to Israel Sisa Ngombane told Army Radio on Sunday.
"There's a notion that South Africans hate Israel, which is totally wrong. South Africans hate oppression. Mandela was the man of the downtrodden, and this is why it is said he identified with the Palestinians," he said.
Ngombane also assured there will be no demonstrations against any visiting Israeli dignitaries arriving for Mandela's funeral.
"When we mourn president Mandela, we have to make him proud. The last thing that South African needs is to have reports of protests being suppressed by security forces," he said.