Naledi Pandor speaks on behalf of the South African government. Photo: Mishqa Rhoda

Naledi Pandor, Chancellor of South Africa, participated this Friday (10), in Johannesburg, in the first Global Anti-Apartheid Conference for Palestine. The representative of the South African government made a forceful defense of its actions within the scope of international law to hold Israel responsible for crimes against humanity committed in Gaza.

“It has never been more urgent for the international community to mobilize in a collective effort to press for an immediate end to the ongoing genocide in Palestine and the apartheid system imposed by the State of Israel in the region,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. “The continued atrocities committed by Israel require broad mobilization of all progressive forces in the world to end colonialism in Palestine.”

A historic figure of the African National Congress (ANC), a political party to which former president Nelson Mandela belonged, Pandor explained the reasons why the African country appealed to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to judge Israel for violating the Convention on Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 1948, signed by both nations.

Read too: UNE mobilizes universities in solidarity with Palestine

In addition to the dizzying number of murders (there have already been more than 35,000 deaths since October 2023), the action also characterizes the situation as genocide due to practices such as the destruction of homes and the expulsion of Palestinians from where they live; the blockade of food, water and medical assistance; the destruction of health services essential for the survival of pregnant women and newborn babies, among other barbarities.

Speaking on behalf of the South African government, Pandor explained that it is necessary to combine the denunciation of brutal human rights violations with an intense global solidarity campaign: “Until now, the traditional approach to conflict resolution has failed to establish peace,” he said. . “It is essential that there is international mobilization to find, together, paths to justice. Progressive forces must demand that the inalienable rights to self-determination and return are guaranteed to the Palestinian people.”

The objective, as he explains, is the fair and equal application of international law. “All of us, as humanity, should be ashamed of doing nothing in the face of 35,000 murders and more occurring right now,” he said. “If we cannot find a way, we should consider traveling to Palestine and be the protective wall of civility.”

Ties between South Africa and Palestine

Going back to the fight against apartheid in her country, the chancellor commented on the historical connection between the nations: “The people of South Africa and Palestine cultivate a bond of solidarity forged by the respective liberation struggles of their countries. South Africa has, since the end of apartheid, been an ally of Palestine, supporting them in international bodies and offering material assistance when possible.”

Read too: Israel censors the Aljazira to control information about the genocide

According to Pandor, the Palestine struggle evokes memories of times of racial segregation and brutal oppression in South Africa. “We have experienced first-hand the effects of this combination and this causes a total identification with the struggle for Palestinian freedom”, he highlighted.

“Our country and our people have demonstrated their commitment to the Palestinian issue even before we achieved our democracy 30 years ago”, he pointed out. “Mandela himself said: we will not be free until the Palestinian people are free too. It is our duty to play an active role in this quest for justice.”

The holding of the Global Anti-Apartheid Conference for Palestine in Johannesburg, which takes place between May 10th and 12th, is a reflection of this connection. Organized by South African civil society, without government participation, the event brings together hundreds of authorities, intellectuals, religious leaders and activists to discuss strategies to combat the ongoing apartheid against the Palestinian people.

“As the government of South Africa and representative of the African National Congress (ANC), we will continue to do everything in our power to preserve the existence of the Palestinian people and end the apartheid and genocide to which they are subjected”, he concluded.


Leave a Reply