African National Congress MP Chief Mandla Mandela, and grandson of the great Nelson Mandela, has called for Israel to be charged with genocide and crimes against humanity.
This follows the establishment of a US embassy in Jerusalem in violation of international law, and the recent killing by IDF forces of 61 protesting Palestinians and the injuring of over 2,000 in the latest #GreatReturnMarch protest at the Gazan border.
He was talking at the march convened by the ANC, the Muslim Judicial Council, representatives of the Jewish and Christian faiths as well as numerous Palestinian solidarity groups. Mandela, who is Muslim and who has visited Palestine recently, said:
“We support the South African government and other UN member states that have called for an independent inquiry into the most recent killings, and hold those responsible accountable for these heinous actions,” he said in a statement following a solidarity march through the streets of Cape Town to Parliament by thousands of Capetonians on Tuesday.
Waving the Palestinian flag and brandishing placards, protestors marched to the gates of Parliament where the statue of General Louis Botha, a former colonial figure, was draped in Palestinian colors.
ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte, addressing the crowd outside parliament, slammed those questioning the government's decision to withdraw the South African ambassador from Israel. The government’s decision came after the Israeli massacre of 61 civilians on the Gaza border Monday.
“I am speaking to you as a South African citizen and a member of the ANC who was taught: whatever we want for ourselves we must wish for others,” Duarte said.
Heidi Grunebaum, from South African Jews for Free Palestine, told the crowd that she was part of a growing number of Jewish people saying “it's enough” to Israel.
“These daily features of life and death for Palestinians constitute the international crime of apartheid. This is the catastrophe that is denied,” Grunebaum said.
Meanwhile, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, said that he was “deeply distressed and broken-hearted by the massacre perpetrated by the state of Israel in Gaza”.
“I pray to God to open the eyes and hearts of all citizens of the Holy Land – and of political and religious leaders across the world – to assist them to recognize our common humanity and membership of God’s family,” he said.
Captions: 1) Mandela addresses crowd.
2) Mandla Mandela marches for Palestine.
3) A crowd marches through Cape Town to parliament.