WATCH: ‘The struggle continues, this is an episode in a long struggle’ – Ngcukaitobi
The top legal minds argued that nothing can ever justify genocide, no matter how great the threat to Israeli security may be.
Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi. Photo: Screengrab
South Africa’s legal team representing the country in the Gaza genocide case against Israel received a hero’s welcome when they touched down on home soil on Sunday.
They were welcomed by the throng of supporters waving South African and Palestinian flags at OR Tambo International Airport.
The country’ stop legal minds presented their case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague on Thursday.
Watch Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi say the Palestinian struggle continues
[WATCH] Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi says South Africa's appearance before the #InternationalCourtofJustice marks a crucial turning point in having the world look at the Israel and Palestine issue through the legal lens. pic.twitter.com/XNNkWB04W7— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) January 14, 2024
Advocates John Dugard, Max du Plessis, Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, Adila Hassim, Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh and Professor Vaughan Lowe argued that “Israel’s attack on Gaza extends beyond the fight against Hamas”.
They also argued that nothing can ever justify genocide, no matter how great the threat to Israeli security may be.
Ngcukaitobi said South Africa’s appearance before the 15 judges at the Peace Palace marked a crucial turning point
“The struggle continues. This is an episode in a long struggle. You heard Adila say it is about 75 years of occupation, so that struggle continues, it does not end.
“This week marked an important episode, but it did not mark the culmination, it marked a very crucial turning point in having the world look at the issue through a legal lens. But the overall struggle itself will continue beyond this,” Ngcukaitobi said.
Ngcukaitobi thanked South Africans for their support.
“We have been very humbled that we have been able to contribute a very small part to an otherwise long and courageous struggle of the Palestinian people. So, in those words I would like to say thank you.”
South Africa has received overwhelming support in its Gaza case against Israel, with a number of celebrities also making their voices heard.
Actors, including Game of Thrones stars Charles Dance, Carice van Houten, Liam Cunnigham and Lena Headey, have contributed to a series of videos supporting South Africa’s historic against Israel’s genocide at the Peace Palace in The Hague.
Other actors included Susan Sarandon, Cynthia Nixon, The Crown actors Khalid Abdalla and Tobias Menzies.
South Africa filed an urgent case before the world court last month, accusing Israel of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.
The country has asked the court to issue several orders, including for Israel to “immediately suspend” its Gaza offensive; to stop forced displacement; to enable humanitarian access to thousands of displaced Palestinians; and to preserve evidence.
Israel on Friday argued that it has been unfairly accused of atrocities in Gaza by Hamas. Its arguments were based on its alleged right to self-defence.
Israel claimed South Africa’s allegation of intent to commit genocide is “baseless”.