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ANC’s Pandor pledges party support to push pro-Palestine agenda at Lenasia event

ANC’s Pandor pledges party support to push pro-Palestine agenda at  Lenasia event
Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor. (Photos: Katlholo Maifadi/Dirco)

The ANC has leveraged its success at the International Court of Justice as a means to sway the Muslim community to vote for the party in the upcoming national and provincial elections.

ANC senior member and International Relations minister Naledi Pandor has assured that the government would fervently continue to back Palestine through its legal action in the International Court of Justice.

Pandor was speaking during a panel discussion at the Baitun Noor Centre in Lenasia, where she also told attendees that it is important for the ANC to get a majority at the upcoming elections in order for the South African government to continue pursuing the case.

“As the ANC and government, we are resolute that we will continue to pursue this case and of course if you as the people of South Africa do something odd by not ensuring the ANC has the majority. We as the ANC will pursue the case if the government won’t. Make sure you vote,” she reiterated.

The ANC Gauteng hosted a panel discussion on Wednesday evening in solidarity with Palestine and to provide a way forward regarding South Africa’s International Court of Justice case. Pandor was a part of the panel alongside ANC Gauteng chair Panyaza Lesufi, ANC Joburg chair Dada Morero and Palestinian Solidarity Alliance’s (PSA) activist Nazeem Adam.

In January, a majority of judges presiding over the ICJ case between South Africa and Israel granted most of the measures requested by South Africa to prevent a rising genocide in Gaza and the rest of Palestine. But it stopped short of the most important — ordering a ceasefire in a one-sided war that’s been dragging on for almost five months.

It also called on Hamas to release the remaining hostages whom it captured in its attack on Israel on 7 October.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Middle East crisis news hub

South Africa subsequently made an urgent request to the ICJ on 13 February for additional measures to be taken by Israel to prevent harm to civilians during its assault on the southern Gaza city of Rafah. However, the court declined South Africa’s application, saying Israel remained bound by the court’s order of 26 January.

On Wednesday South Africa made an urgent appeal to the court for the indication of additional provisional measures and the alteration of the court’s order on 26 January, calling on the ICJ to act again now, “before it is too late — to do what is within its power to save Palestinians in Gaza from genocidal starvation”.

Read more in Daily Maverick: South Africa asks ICJ to urgently act to prevent ‘full-scale famine’ in Gaza

ANC corruption label

Pandor denounced the notion that all ANC members are corrupt, adding that while the governing party has made its fair share of mistakes, undoing the apartheid regime’s system has not been an easy task.

“I challenge the notion that everyone in the ANC is corrupt, I am not corrupt I have got integrity. I refuse to be labelled because I belong to the ANC.

“Not all that we wanted to achieve as a new democracy has been achieved in the last 30 years but a great deal of the legacy we received has been addressed and I think it is improbable we can imagine that in 30 years we will overcome the legacies of apartheid. There is no nation that experienced the amount of oppression, harm or racism that could ever address the social and economic ills in 30 years.

“I do think it is important to look at the record of what has been done and yes indeed point out the imperfections and the call on the government and any party that is in power that it must fight and eradicate corruption,” she explained.

Lesufi on the other hand told residents that the ANC- led government’s strides to assist the people of Palestine in no way means they are neglecting domestic issues.

He said the government is working towards ending the rolling blackouts crisis while combating crime and lawlessness.

“On the matter that we are choosing Palestine and not South Africans. I can tell you something, even if we have done anything good, if someone hates you regardless of what you do, they will find an excuse to try and discredit you.

“We will assist the people of Palestine [but] we will never neglect our responsibilities but that does not mean we should turn a blind eye if people are suffering in any part of the globe whether it is Eswantini or Cuba.

Do not vote for the DA, PA or ACDP 

Adam sent out a stern message to Lenasia residents urging them not to vote for “zionist” political parties, particularly the DA, Patriotic Alliance (PA) and African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP).

“We are not here to vote for any particular political party but you do not vote for those political parties who are narrow nationalist, who are racist and support zionism unconditionally and give impunity. We do not vote for the DA but you also know it’s not a new thing. You do not vote for the PA, you do not vote for the ACDP — I do not even know the others because they are insignificant.

“I realised that when it comes to elections there are a lot of emotions, but we have to vote conscientiously but I can tell you that certain political parties, if they are to get the upper hand, will take South Africa back to 20 years,” he said.

The PA and ACDP openly support Israel, while the DA has taken the stance of being in solidarity with both Palestinians and Israelis “who seek a two-state solution”.

Adam stated that the steps the government has taken regarding the Israel- Palestine war have become a pillar of hope for solidarity organisations.

“Palestine Solidarity Movement, we did not have hope for this ICJ case, we thought it would be another United Nations resolution veto. We nevertheless saw [it] as a positive move [and] encouraged it and from our side, we had a live panel monitoring it and it was very interesting from a legal point of view.

“So, when the minister says Israel’s impunity was being exposed, the efforts of the solidarity movement clearly indicates there was great interest and hope,” he said.

The PSA leader further went on to mention that the ICJ case has assisted in challenging racism.

“I think that if we had taken these values, values that gave character to the people that led our movement, we would have not seen the kind of support that certain political parties give to Israel. We would not see the hypocrisy of a certain [DA leader John] Steenhuisen flying to the Ukraine, but not to Gaza. The fact that it is someone with fair skin you should feel more but if it is someone of a darker skin that is suffering, they deserve it.

“…There is a racist value system which still permeates much of our society. We need to challenge that racism. I think for me that is the greatest victory of the ICJ [case] and our work here is to say that the statement of [former statesman] Nelson Mandela that we cannot be free until Palestine is free is now far more relevant because it has opened the minds, hearts, souls of South Africans to what freedom really means,” he said. DM

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  • Gavin Knox says:

    Seems to me this Pandor and her boss are angling for a nomination for a Nobel prize, …. seeing as they very well could be out of work soon.

    • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

      No Gavin she is doing what a minister responsible for foreign affairs should be doing, we keep blaming her for the failure of domestic ministries that are not under her control.
      Can we show one constitutional step or foreign policy that she broke? I guess no, that is why we blame her for poverty, crime, unemployment and potholes things that are not under her ministry.
      Go girl you are the star in shining armor.
      If we cannot love people for who they are, let’s love them for what they do.

      • Steve Du Plessis says:

        She and her fellow looters of South Africa should be in prison

      • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

        All she is doing is trying to get Soith African Islamic votes for the ANC.

        If she truly had morals, she would not be associated with the ANC – a party that commits South African human rights abuses every day.

        And Islamic people, I do hope you are not fooled by her or the disgusting party she repeesents. A vote for the ANC is a vote to destroy what little is left of our country.

      • Pieter van de Venter says:

        What about Sudan and Ukraine??? Pandor did not phone Putin on 25 February for a tongue lashing????

  • Troy Marshall says:

    Many South Africans identify with the Palestinian cause. The issue goes beyond those of particular religious faiths.
    Israel has been denying Palestinians the right to statehood for decades. That’s a fact and it’s indefensible.
    Labelling those who take up arms against Israel as terrorists isn’t that wise. I have a low regard for the ANC government but many South Africans will remember how the apartheid government smeared ANC freedom fighters as terrorists.
    With elections coming up the race card is going to be played. We need to remember the comments we make online are open to interpretation.

    • John Smythe says:

      The actions of Hamas on 7 October doesn’t qualify as the actions of a terrorist. Or was it just a few loose canons in Hamas who planned and performed without executive approval to execute, rape, burn and drag naked bodies through the streets?
      The Palestinians have had plenty of opportunities to make Gaza special. But they’ve let hoodlums run their existence. Not much unlike what we’re letting our government do. You may have low regard for the ANC, but more that 50% of SA doesn’t (yet).
      Or am I missing something here?

      • Fadila Canthitoo says:

        Right, they’ve failed to make their open-air prison “special”. How dare they struggle against dispossession, brutality and oppression.

        • Samuel Ginsberg says:

          An open air prison that has Mediterranean sea and tens of billions of dollars of aid pumped in free, gratis and for nothing. That could have been another Dubai.

    • Samuel Ginsberg says:

      It’s not a fact. The Palestinians have turned down five opportunities to form a state. What else do you expect usual to do?
      When Israel pulled out of Gaza it only took two years to descend into a Hamas autocracy which has fired tens of thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians.

  • Rod H MacLeod says:

    What would Nazeem Adam like to be free from? Freedom is such an easy word to bandy about – but what constitutes freedom? I suspect in Naseem’s case, he doesn’t have a clue. ” … we cannot be free until Palestine is free … “. What does that even mean? That you’re not free now? That your freedom is dependent on Israel being obliterated? Never have I heard such useless nonsensical drivel except for the delusional ramblings of Jacob Zuma on BBC Hardtalk.

  • Geoff Coles says:

    Adam….does he want DA politicians to go to Gaza, when none can….maybe Adam and Pandor together?

  • Citizen X says:

    Palestinians are not only Muslim. First mistake is making whatbis happening in GAZA, West Bank or East Jerusalem a religious topic. Its about Palestinian nation living under an apartheid structure supported by the West. That is just wrong period!! You now using something to score points. Don’t use international issues as a crutch for votes when you got nothing to show your people and continue to break down this country at every level while you eat cake, sell buffalo, drive in vip vehicles. Come walk about amongst us on the ground without your bodyguards and sort out the crap we have to contend with on a daily basis. Steve Biko, Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo etc. including the many nameless souls who fought for our freedom are turning in their graves right now.

  • Steve Du Plessis says:

    First there was no success at the ICJ. Quite the opposite. Second, if the ANC is your only friend and support in any cause you know you are on the wrong side. The ANC is one of the most incompetent, corrupt and immoral political parties in the world. A vote for then makes you complicit in their crimes against South Africa and the suffering that they have caused to ordinary South Africans

  • Joseph Cohen says:

    Embarassing when black people have to school their supposed enlightened counterparts on the real meaning of humanity, freedom and human dignity. It seems western enlightened values exists only as theory to their founding members. They should look to their former exploited colonies for practical implementation. Outstanding and admirable position minister Pandor.

  • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

    I do so love opinion, in all its gorgeous splendiferous variety.

    Death and taxes folks, death and taxes.

  • Pieter van de Venter says:

    She is working full time for Hamas, but we as SA taxpayers must foot the bill for her strange bedfellows – Hamas leaders, Iranian leaders, Putin, Cuban leaders, Venezuela’s president, etc. All the crooks and washouts of the world.

    Strange that the madam does not mention Sudan. There is 10 times more people in serious food need, according to UN WFP, – 25 million vs 2.5 million in Gaza. In Sudan there is something like 150,000 dead in 12 months and many times more displaced than in Gaza. An estimated 14 million children are in desperate need of food. In the case of Sudan, it is mostly Arabs vs the balck Africans.

    But madam Pandor is only against the Israelis. As a citizen of this country, that concerns me that Pandor and Dirco only persecutes Israel. That smacks of tipical ANC dishonesty. Maybe the Iranian money is talking????

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