ANC members in Johannesburg have gathered outside the American Consulate in Sandton for a picket in solidarity with the people of Palestine and over sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.
About 200 ANC members, activists and ordinary citizens carried placards and engaged in a peaceful picket, singing Struggle songs and songs calling for peace and protection for the Palestinian people.
Shocking images have emerged over the last two weeks of Palestinians being killed in the Gaza Strip. In 11 days, Israel air strikes killed over 230 people, including more than 65 children and three pregnant women.
ANC Gauteng international relations convenor Peace Mabe said the picket outside the consulate was aimed at urging America to lift the sanctions against Zimbabwe and that they need to in Palestine as well.
”Today’s event is a continuation of the Africa Day celebration. The ANC’s NEC made a decision that we needed to dedicate in solidarity with the people of Palestine.
’’On Tuesday, we went to the Israel embassy in Pretoria to hand over a memorandum and today we are here. What is special about today is that we have added the Zimbabweans – we want America to lift sanctions against Zimbabwe,” said Mabe.
The South African District Zanu-PF chairperson, Gift Kangausaru, said sanctions on Zimbabwe imposed by America must fall.
“The sanctions must be taken out today enough is enough, because the children of Zimbabwe have suffered because of sanctions. We need to revive our economy. A lot of Zimbabweans are stranded in the diaspora, ” said Kangausaru.
Palestinian Solidarity Alliance member Nizamoodeen Omar said this was not a religious but a human rights issue.
“For the last 73 years, Palestinian people have been oppressed, in a way that South Africans understands. We ask the Americans to put pressure on Israel, we condemn killing on both sides.
“Although the world is happy that we have a ceasefire, the situation on the ground has not changed a single bit. The Israel government has targeted Palestinians, about 1500 people have been arrested because of the activism.
’’They are trying to make sure that news does not go out, and there must be no position for the apartheid Israel. Things need to be change, the UN needs to put pressure to Israel,” said Omar.
ANC Johannesburg regional secretary Dada Morero said they came to raise the plight of the Palestinians and the struggle for self-determination and the sanctions on Zimbabwe.
“America needs to repeal the law against Zimbabwe which is called Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001. We will continue to demonstrate in Johannesburg and all over the country,” said Morero.