PRESS STATEMENT: Renaming Sandton Drive after Palestinian Icon

28 May 2019

Join the Palestine solidarity protest on Friday 31 May 2019 starting at 13h30 at the Johannesburg City Council (163 Civic Boulevard, Braamfontein). The protest will be attended and supported by various organizations.

In 2018 the Johannesburg City Council adopted a motion to rename Sandton Drive (where the US Consulate is located) after the Palestinian icon, Leila Khaled.

The motion was brought to council by the ANC, Al-Jamaah and EFF and was passed with an easy majority. To date, however, the DA led executive, and in particular, Mayor Herman Mashaba, is preventing the implementation of this street name change.

Join us this Friday (coinciding with Al-Quds Day -Towards Quds) to demand the immediate implementation of this motion. International Al-Quds Day takes place in over 100 cities worldwide including in London, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria and several other South African cities and towns.

About Leila Khaled

Above is a photo of Nelson Mandela and Leila Khaled, both were dubbed “terrorists” by the USA. In fact, Nelson Mandela and South Africa’s then liberation movement and now governing-party, the ANC, remained on the USA terrorism watch list for over a decade after the end of Apartheid. Mandela himself was only removed from the US State Security terrorist watch list in 2008 – after he had visited the country as President of our country. Many Palestinians – including Leila Khaled are today considered terrorists by the same people who once did so with the ANC, the PAC, Nelson Mandela, Ronnie Kasrils, Dennis Goldberg and other liberation struggle heroes.

Leila Khaled has visited South Africa several times, with her most recent being in 2014 where she was a guest of Parliament and also shared platforms across the country with various Government Ministers, Premiers and Mayors as well as South African stalwart, Ahmed Kathrada.

Leila Khaled has been dubbed “the poster girl of the Palestinian struggle”. Khaled’s image flashed across the world in 1969. The picture of a young, determined looking woman with a checkered kuffiyah scarf was as era-defining as that of Che Guevara, Ruth First and other political figures from our recent past.

Since the end of Apartheid several streets have been re-named after our own anti-apartheid activists as well as activists from other countries and struggles.


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