Featured Organizing Tour Speaker's statement from South Africa


We fought apartheid; we see no reason to celebrate it in Israel now!

We, South Africans who faced the might of unjust and brutal apartheid machinery in South Africa and fought against it with all our strength, with the objective to live in a just, democratic society, refuse today to celebrate the existence of an Apartheid state in the Middle East. While Israel and its apologists around the world will, with pomp and ceremony, loudly proclaim the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel this month, we who have lived with and struggled against oppression and colonialism will, instead, remember 6 decades of catastrophe for the Palestinian people. 60 years ago, 750,000 Palestinians were brutally expelled from their homeland, suffering persecution, massacres, and torture. They and their descendants remain refugees. This is no reason to celebrate.

When we think of the Sharpeville massacre of 1960,
we also remember the Deir Yassin massacre of 1948.

When we think of South Africaís Bantustan policy,
we remember the bantustanisation of Palestine by the Israelis.

When we think of our heroes who languished on RobbenIsland and elsewhere,
we remember the 11,000 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails.

When we think of the massive land theft perpetrated against the people of South Africa,
we remember that the theft of Palestinian land continues with the building of illegal Israeli settlements and the Apartheid Wall.

When we think of the Group Areas Act and other such apartheid legislation,
we remember that 93% of the land in Israel is reserved for Jewish use only.

When we think of Black people being systematically dispossessed in South Africa,
we remember that Israel uses ethnic and racial dispossession to strike at the heart of Palestinian life.

When we think of how the SADF troops persecuted our people in the townships,
we remember that attacks from tanks, fighter jets and helicopter gunships are the daily experience of Palestinians in the OccupiedTerritory.

When we think of the SADF attacks against our neighbouring states,
we remember that Israel deliberately destabilises the Middle East region and threatens international peace and security, including with its 100s of nuclear warheads.

We who have fought against Apartheid and vowed not to allow it to happen again can not allow Israel to continue perpetrating apartheid, colonialism and occupation against the indigenous people of Palestine.

We dare not allow Israel to continue violating international law with impunity.

We will not stand by while Israel continues to starve and bomb the people of Gaza.

We who fought all our lives for South Africa to be a state for all its people demand that millions of Palestinian refugees must be accorded the right to return to the homes from where they were expelled.

Apartheid was a gross violation of human rights.  It was so in South Africa and it is so with regard to Israelís persecution of the Palestinians!

Ronnie Kasrils, Minister of Intelligence / End Occupation Campaign

Blade Nzimande, General Secretary, South African Communist Party

Zwelinzima Vavi, General Secretary, Congress of South African Trade Unions

Ahmed Kathrada, Nelson Mandela Foundation

Eddie Makue, General Secretary, South African Council of Churches

Makoma Lekalakala, Social Movements Indaba

Dale McKinley, Anti-Privatisation Forum

Lybon Mabasa, President, Socialist Party of Azania

Costa Gazi, Pan Africanist Congress of Azania

Jeremy Cronin, South African Communist Party

Sydney Mufamadi, Minister of Provincial and Local Government

Mosioua Terror Lekota, Minister of Safety and Security

Mosibudi Mangena, President, Azanian Peoples Organisation / Minister of Science and Technology

Alec Erwin, Minister of Public Enterprises

Essop Pahad, Minister in the Presidency

Enver Surty, Deputy Minister of Education

Roy Padayache, Deputy Minister of Communications

Derek Hanekom, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology

Rob Davies, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry

Lorretta Jacobus, Deputy Minister of Correctional Services

Sam Ramsamy, International Olympic Committee

Yasmin Sooka, Executive Director, Foundation for Human Rights

Pregs Govender, Feminist Activist and Author: Love and Courage, A Story of Insubordination

Adam Habib, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Johannesburg

Frene Ginwala, African National Congress

Salim Vally, Palestine Solidarity Committee

Na'eem Jeenah, Palestine Solidarity Committee

Brian Ashley, Amandla Publications

Mercia Andrews, Palestine Solidarity Group

Andile Mngxitama, land rights activist

Farid Esack, Professor of Contemporary Islam,  HarvardUniversity

Elinor Sisulu, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition

Andre Zaaiman

Virginia Setshedi, Coalition Against Water Privatisation

Max Ozinsky, Not in my Name

Revd Basil Manning, Minister, United Congregational Church of Southern Africa

Firoz Osman, Media Review Network

Zapiro, cartoonist

Mphutlane wa Bofelo, General Secretary, Muslim Youth Movement

Steven Friedman, academic

Ighsaan Hendricks, President, Muslim Judicial Council

Iqbal Jassat, Media Review Network

Stiaan van der Merwe, Palestine Solidarity Committee

Naaziem Adam, Palestine Solidarity Alliance

Asha Moodley, Board member of Agenda feminist journal

Suraya Bibi Khan, Palestine Solidarity Alliance

Nazir Osman, Palestine Solidarity Alliance

Allan Horwitz, Jewish Voices

Jackie Dugard, legal and human rights activist

Professor Alan and Beata Lipman

Caroline O'Reilly, researcher

Jane Lipman

Shereen Mills, Human rights lawyer, Centre for Applied Legal Studies

Noor Nieftagodien, University of the Witwatersrand

Bobby Peek, Groundworks

Arnold Tsunga, Chair, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition

Mcebisi Skwatsha, Provincial Secretary, ANC Western Cape

Owen Manda, Centre for Sociological Research, University of Johannesburg

Claire Cerruti, Keep Left

NB: Organisational affiliations above are for identification purposes only and do not necessarily reflect organisational endorsement

Organisational endorsements:

African National Congress

Al Quds Foundation

Anti-Privatisation Forum and its 28 affiliates

Azanian Peoples Organisation

Congress of South African Trade Unions

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition

End Occupation Campaign

Groundworks

Media Review Network

Muslim Judicial Council

Muslim Youth Movement of South Africa

Not In My Name

Palestine Solidarity Alliance

Palestine Solidarity Committee

Palestine Solidarity Group

Social Movements Indaba

Socialist Party of Azania

South African Communist Party

South African Council of Churches