Parliament has rejected the invitation for members of the Israeli Knesset to visit South Africa. This follows vehement calls by Nelson Mandela grandson, Mandla Mandela, for government to revoke visas for the delegation, which is expected to visit South Africa in August.
Addressing protestors at the mass Al Aqsa march in Cape Town last week, the ANC MP said government should not allow the Parliamentary delegation to step foot in south Africa. He has lauded the ANC parliamentary caucus for its decision, saying they should equally pressurise the ANC led government to deny the delegation access to the country.
“We applaud Parliament’s decision to reject the invitation for the Israeli parliamentary delegation to visit. In so doing parliament has stayed true to Madiba’s commitment to stand by the Palestinian cause until Palestine is free,” Mandela said in a statement.
“We congratulate all who joined our call for Parliament to take a strong stand on this matter, including the MJC, Al Aqsa Foundation, BDS, Cosatu solidarity organizations, human rights bodies and other groups and individuals who hold Madiba’s legacy and the Palestinian cause close to their hearts.”
He has called on the ANC parliamentary caucus to lobby the ANC to expel the Israeli ambassador from South Africa and to recall the SA ambassador from Israel and cut-off all diplomatic and other ties.
“History calls upon us to take similar measures to those taken by freedom, justice and peace loving communities that supported the Global Anti Apartheid Movement against the brutal and illegitimate South African regime. We must not relent in our endeavours to garner support for the Palestinian cause, the return of 6 million Palestinian refugees, the return of illegally occupied Palestinian land, an end to illegal Israeli settlements and respect for International law and the many UN Resolutions with respect to Jerusalem as the capital of a free Palestine.”
Mandela said he was well aware that the Zionist lobby and opposition parties would ignore the Parliamentary decision and “still entertain the Israeli delegation”.
“We want to say to them that the blood of innocent children, women and elderly Palestinians are on your hands if you do so,” he said.
“We call on all peace loving people, organisations, governments and others who supported our anti-apartheid cause to stand with us as we uphold Nkosi Dalibhunga’s, our Founding Father’s, legacy and his call that we can never be completely free until Palestine is free.” VOC