JOINT STATEMENT: Protest outside DIRCO “engagement”

02 October 2018

Civil society, including members of the ANC, Alliance, SACP, PYA, Friends of Cuba Society, BDS, YCL, Palestine Solidarity Alliance, KZN PSF, Wits PSC, Swaziland Solidarity Network, NC4P, Media Review Network, SA Jews for a Free Palestine and others will be protesting outside the upcoming “think-tank” workshop with “thought-leaders” being held in Pretoria by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation. The workshop is due to take place on the 4th and 5th of October. The protest will take place on Friday 5th of October at DIRCO head office in Pretoria where the Minister will be hosting the workshop.

The Ministry has betrayed the mandate to downgrade the South African embassy in Israel to a liaison office (like our embassy in Taiwan) until it respects international law. With the backing of Palestinian political parties (including Fateh, PFLP, Hamas and others) the mandate to downgrade was given to the Minister and government deployees by South African civil society, religious formations and resolved by South Africa’s governing party, the ANC, at its National Conference at NASREC in December 2017. The unanimous resolution clearly stating “immediate and unconditional” has still not been implemented. Engagements and consultations seem to be part of delaying actions.

Sadly, what should have been a proud moment for the ANC and our government, where we showed practical support for the people of Palestine, has become an embarrassment.

The recent debacle of reinstating and then not reinstating Sisa Ngombane to Tel Aviv sheds light on the high levels of corruption and insult to the will of the people by the Israeli lobby working the corridors of DIRCO.

The Minister must “engage” civil society by implementing the National Conference resolutions of her own party before we can trust that any commitments made at a workshop will be followed through. Anything less leads us to think that the workshop is a talkshop!

– Reverend Edwin Arrison, National Coalition 4 Palestine (0847351835)
– Lucky Lukhele, Swaziland Solidarity Network (0814585658)
– Clever Banganayi, Friends of Cuba Society (0721426625)
– Nonkululeko Mntambo, Wits Palestine Solidarity Committee (0817403838)
– Tasneem Fredericks, Palestine Solidarity Alliance PE (0826121657)
– Lubna Nadvi, KZN PSF (0837864918)
– Mluleki Dlelanga, Young Communist League of South Africa (0786429004) 
– Chris Matlhako, South African Communist Party (0832558804)
– Zanele Matebula, Congress of South African Trade Unions (0823008979)
– Kenneth Barnes, South African Students Congress Gauteng (0793937131)
– Irfan Mangera, Muslim Students Association of South Africa (0729108483)
– Haji Younas Ali, Al Quds Foundation (‭079494-5786‬)
– Dr Firoz Osman, Media Review Network (0823376976)
– Mpho Masemola, Ex-Political Prisoners Association (0768050690)
– Kwara Kekana, BDS South Africa (0740543826)
– Alan Horwitz, South African Jews for a Free Palestine (082518188)