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BDS to soften boycott

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The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement of South Africa aims says it will be “the bigger person” in the ongoing conflict between the group and Woolworths South Africa. This, according to spokesperson Mohammed Desai, who was present when the South Gauteng High Court on Tuesday ordered the BDS and Woolworths to engage face to face before the 10th of December. Up until the court order was given, Woolworths refused to engage with BDS SA directly on its #BoycottWoolworths campaign.

“We will be the biggest person here, even though Woolworths has refused to meet with us, we do believe a meeting could be useful. But we will enter that meeting with our case that Israel is an Apartheid state and the retailer must end its trade with the country,” Desai said.

Desai said the court order was an acknowledgement of their stance, as well as the motivation for their call for a boycott of the company. He also said although they will soften their boycott, in parts the action will still continue.

“One of the signs of good faith we will be giving them is that we will be softening in store protest action, but we will continue the boycott throughout this period. We want them to understand that there is a large group of South Africans who stand with the Palestinian people; the products they source from Israel they can surely source locally.”

Desai said in the long run Woolworths may come into financial trouble because of its refusal to heed the public’s call.

“The trade they have going with Israel is worth R12m; and recent records show since the boycott began they’ve lost about R8m.”

Protestors will gather outside Woolworths headquarters in Cape Town tomorrow, where the company is poised to host an important AGM. VOC


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