ANC stands by Palestine – Fikile Mbalula
Hamas tells of 'alarming genocide' while the Jewish board says rape of Israelis is ‘not even raised’ despite SA's stance on GBV.
ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula briefs media at Luthuli house in Jihannesburg, 18 October 2023. Picture: Nigel Sibanda
The ANC has reaffirmed its commitments to freedom for Palestinians after meeting with Hamas leaders, ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula said yesterday.
Some of the groups present were the SA Community Party (SACP), the Fatah Movement and the Islamic Jihad Movement in Lebanon.
“They gave an alarming account of the ongoing genocide against their people,” Mbalula said.
The group highlighted more than seven decades of occupation, racial discrimination, violence, unlawful detentions and systematic oppression, he said.
Wendy Kahn, national director of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, said while they noted the ANC hosted the Hamas delegation at Luthuli House, nowhere on social media was there any form of condemnation for the brutal Hamas attacks targeting Israeli citizens on 7 October.
Kahn said the rapes and sexual violence against Israeli women that were recorded on Hamas’ webcams were not even raised.
That was a sad indictment on the ruling party who say it had a commitment to eradicating gender-based violence, Kahn said.
“In the list of actions that Mbalula reported on, he fails to call for the immediate release of Israeli hostages that were abducted by Hamas nearly nine weeks ago, including a baby of 10 months, children, women and elderly people,” she said.
The Hamas delegation attended the 5th Global Convention of Solidarity with Palestine, organised by Mandla Mandela, the grandson of former president Nelson Mandela.
“The theme was, ‘Nelson Mandela and Palestine: Confronting Racism till Liberation’,” Mandela said.
Mbalula stressed the right to self-determination for the Palestinian people, their right to resist and the need for global solidarity in isolating apartheid practices in Israel.
“We also urged the US and western countries to withdraw their support for such oppressive regimes,” he said.
Kahn said if the ANC truly wanted an end to this war, they would recognise that Hamas’ refusal to release all the hostages is one of the central factors preventing any breakthrough.