Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions South Africa (BDS SA) has praised the ANC for its growing support of the Palestinian struggle for liberation and the growing boycott campaign against Israel. The ANC held its 4th National General Council (NGC) over the past weekend and amongst the resolutions were calls for a strengthening of its relationship with Palestine, as well as a firmer stance against Israel and all companies affiliated with the state.
The ANC has historically held strong relations with the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), which BDS SA says stems from the anti-Apartheid struggle days in South Africa, when the ANC and its armed wings “found a home amongst PLO comrades”.
BDS SA representative, Kwara Kekana, whose organisation has longed called on the ruling party to cut diplomatic and trade ties with Israel, said the NGC saw the ANC take several key policy positions. This included the possible introduction of travel bans to Israel.
“There is going to be a concerted effort by the ANC to discourage its members but also its government officials from travelling to Israel, as long as it’s not for solidarity purposes. That for us is seen as a victory,” she said.
Another target that BDS SA hopes the ANC will pursue is the highlighting of companies perceived as complicit in the occupation of Palestinian territory, amongst them security company G4S, as well as Caterpillar Inc. who are allegedly involved in house demolitions and settlement constructions in the occupied territories.
“The NGC extended its list of companies that are directly complicit in the occupation, and focused on the list that was produced by the UN’s special rapporteur for human rights to say that these particular companies should be isolated from any government business,” she stated.
With the ANC hoping to decrease the presence of privately owned security companies, Kekana said BDS SA were hoping this particular move would see the complete isolation of G4S as a security company.
Kekana again reiterated that the isolation of Israel via the BDS campaign formed part of a global citizen’s response to the oppression of innocent Palestinians, and forcing Israel to adhere to international law. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)