While some on social media have speculated that the Woolworths store in Kromboom Road in Crawford may have been the target for Thursday night’s bomb blast, Kwara Kekana of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) of South Africa says her organisation, although calling for a boycott of Woolworths, would never condone such action even if it was possibly motivated by a pro-Palestinian agenda.
“BDS is a non-violent movement to stop the occupation [of Palestine]; all of our actions have been non-violent, and that has, and always will be, our approach,” she said on Friday.
She believes none of the BDS affiliates would act in such a manner as to damage property to hurt a public target of the pro-Palestinian movement. Despite this, she says the BDS will continue and strengthen its boycotting of Woolworths stores.
“This is not the modus operandi of any BDS affiliated Palestinian rights movement either; but we will intensify our boycotting and continue non-violent forms of protest such as jamming tills, approaching store managers and other forms of in store protests.”
The Cape Town for Gaza initiative, a group of activists who have held regular pickets outside the Woolworths branch, urged the public not to point fingers.
“We know throughout history, when those with truth make serious advances on the imperialist, they either use divide and conquer methods to create discord amongst those making advances on them, or they play victim to gain sympathy from the masses and point those with truth as aggressors,” the group wrote on Facebook.
“Given that, it could be the imperialist themselves who have pulled this stunt, which many claim to be very likely. Or, the source could be organised crime who saw the opportunity to allow their crime to be blamed on the boycott force who’ve been challenging Woolworths Kromboom regularly since the escalated aggression started. Or, it could be anyone.”
However, the group said pro-Palestinian supporters should not be deterred by the incident and the boycott should continue.
“Let us wait for evidence but continue to commit to the cause.”
Western Cape police have not yet established whether Woolworths was in fact the target, as the device detonated close to Good Fello’s fisheries and a video store.
“Due to the sensitive nature of our investigations into this matter, [we are] not in a position to speculate on the reasons for the incident as this may jeopardise the investigations that are currently underway,” said police spokesperson Captain FC Van Wyk.
The Kromboom complex was not the only target, as another pipe bombs left broken glass and a burning car outside Auto Belgravia in Belgravia Road.
Police spokesperson Captain Frederick van Wyk said cases of malicious damage to property were opened by the SAPS.
“[We] can confirm that two incidents of explosions occurred last night just after 23:00; one in Belgravia road … at a motor dealership and the other one … at a small business centre. Cases of malicious damage to property were opened for investigation , no arrest[s] as yet.”
Woolworths confirmed its Kromboom Road store took damage but no injuries were reported. VOC (Andriques Che Petersen)