– Ebrahim Ebrahim MP
The Parliamentary Advisor to South African President, Jacob Zuma. Former Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation as well as former Chairperson of the ANC’s International Relations Sub Committee.
Oliver Reginald Tambo is a name that brings much fondness to us as South Africans and those who struggle for a more just world. Tambo was a man who can be considered as one of the pioneer architects of our liberation struggle to which he contributed tremendously. This he achieved largely through international solidarity. Tambo will forever be connected to the successful international isolation of Apartheid South Africa.
Comrade OR’s entire life was taken up in ANC work, and specifically in building an international anti-Apartheid movement. Tambo would travel the world engaging with students, unions, churches and other formations convincing them to divest and end their support for Apartheid South Africa. Indeed, Tambo was successful in this achievement.
However, the international anti-Apartheid movement and sanctions campaign was also shouldered, taken on and defended by thousands of ordinary citizens from numerous countries around the world. They too, made our struggle their life. We are forever indebted to them.
Today, there is a similar international civil society solidarity campaign in support of the Palestinians against Israeli policies and practices of occupation and aggression. The ANC fully supports this international movement to pressure Israel to engage with the Palestinian people to reach a just solution. In this regard, the ANC calls on all South Africans to support the programmes and campaigns of Palestinian civil society in their pursuit of justice, freedom and equality.
The ANC is unequivocal in its support for the Palestinian people in their struggle for self-determination, and unapologetic in its view that the Palestinians are the victims and the oppressed in the conflict with Israel.
The Palestinian struggle against Israeli oppression reminds us of our own struggle against Apartheid, but, since we achieved our freedom, we are convinced that the Palestinians too will achieve theirs. Until then, and in the words of Nelson Mandela: “Our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”