South Africa’s ruling party, the ANC, will be holding its National General Council (NGC) this weekend between the 8th and 11th of October.
In July 2015 the ANC held a Lekgotla (meeting/gathering) which made certain recommendations that must be discussed at the upcoming NGC. The July 2015 ANC Lekgotla made two recommendations in particular for the upcoming NGC to consider. Firstly, the Lekgotla recommended a discussion and review of dual citizenship and the prosecution of South Africans serving in the Israeli Defense Forces (in line with South African law):
“We note with concern that there is a growing number of young Jewish South Africans who go to Israel for national service and as such there should be a campaign to discourage this practise. There is a need for us to strengthen our legislation in this regard. The Lekgotla recommends that a discussion and review of dual citizenship be tabled before the NGC.” (Page 118, Section 6.3, paragraph 12-13, www.anc.org.za/docs/necbul/2015/july.pdf)
The July 2015 NGC also recommended a review of economic relations with Israel and an engagement with other South to South partners:
“We need to review of our economic engagements and stance on Israel taking into account the posture of our allies in South-South cooperation fora who are themselves engaging with Israel economically; and further recommend to the NGC to discuss this matter fully and make recommendations.” (Page 118, Section 6.3, paragraph 14 www.anc.org.za/docs/necbul/2015/july.pdf)
We trust that the above ANC Lekgotla recommendations will be discussed and that progressive decisions will be reached which will, firstly, strengthen our solidarity with the Palestinians people and their progressive Israeli peace activists. And, secondly, we trust that the decisions taken will also benefit our own country and economy.
The ANC’s NEC adopted last year, in line with ethical and international law guidelines, to exclude international corporations, such as Caterpillar, G4S and CapeGate from public Government contracts, due to their involvement in Israeli human rights violations in the OPT. We call on the ANC to extend this list to specifically include The Dexia Group; Ahava; the Volvo Group; the Riwal Holding Group; Elbit Systems; Hewlett Packard; Mehadrin ; Motorola; Assa Abloy; and Cemex. These 13 companies were listed by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights as entities to be boycotted due to their involvement in Israel (http://tinyurl.com/nfbycxb)
We also urge the upcoming NGC to adopt policies which will lead to the implementation of decisions taken at international bodies that South Africa is part of. For example, the decision of the 2006 Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) conference in Durban to ban all products of Israeli companies operating in the occupied Palestinian territory and banning of entry of Israeli settlers into South Africa should be speedily implemented with other South to South partners.
A boycott and discouraging of relations with Israeli companies should, must and will lead to an increase of jobs and local economic activity. A boycott of G4S Security (that runs Israeli prisons) will open opportunities for local black-owned security companies. Israeli software firms that are currently contracted by some South African companies can be replaced with local youth owned South African IT companies. A boycott of Caterpillar (that is complicit in the illegal Israeli house demolitions and settlement industry) will open opportunities for Bell Equipment, a local South African manufacturer of heavy duty construction vehicles.
Forward with internationalism and freedom for the people of Palestine, Swaziland, Western Sahara and all oppressed peoples of the world!
We wish the NGC well in its deliberations.
ISSUED BY KWARA KEKENA ON BEHALF OF BDS SOUTH AFRICA