Bo-Kaap prayer service in support of SA’s legal action against Israel

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A prayer service in support of South Africa’s legal action against Israel, at the International Court of Justice in the Netherlands on Thursday, was held in Bo-Kaap. Gathering at a landmark museum, the service was arranged by the provincial ANC’s offices. This to show solidarity with the people of Palestine, but to also bring people together to pray for the court proceedings to be a success.

The Bo-Kaap is known to be a place with a strong affiliation with the plight of the Palestinian people. Over the last few weeks, artists have been adorning walls of homes and shops with murals across the suburb.

One was even painted on an entire apartment building – a show of support for a free Palestine.

Community leaders say the prayer gathering is not only for the South African legal team but to let the people of Palestine know that they are not forgotten.

“We find prayer is very unifying and we thought we also give our legal team some strength. We believe in the power of prayer if we can pray and hope that our team, when they speak, don’t forget their words, they remember their case and that the ears hearing it are receptive to it. So, it’s about that. It’s to give them strength and know we are with them, to give the people of Palestine strength to tell them we haven’t given up; we haven’t stopped, just because we’re going to court; that we will always remember you. So, the prayers are also with them,” says Jacky Poking, Bo-Kaap Civic & Rate Payers Association.

Faith leaders say any injustice anywhere should not be witnessed in silence.

One religious leader says he has seen the conditions in the enclave firsthand and it reminded him strongly of apartheid in South Africa.

“I know what it did to us, to dehumanize us and so, I want to be part of saying ‘no’ to that. I want to be part of generating the energy that allows people to find resilience and resistance and to be able to have the strength to say no to that narrative of oppression.  Because it dehumanizes the people who perpetrate it as the intent of those who they attempt to kill and get caught up in that genocide,” says Father Peter-John Pearson, Roman Catholic Priest.