There are growing calls for South Africa to close Israel’s embassy in Pretoria, should Israel continue with airstrikes in Gaza.
Civil society organisations, alongside the Venda Muslim Youth Movement and the South African Youth Council, have led a march in solidarity with the people of Palestine through the streets of Thohoyandou in Limpopo.
Palestine has recently suffered the loss of lives and the displacement of many as a result of bombings by Israel.
Video: A ceasefire between Israel and Palestine
Painting the town of Thohoyandou black and white, members of the South African Youth Council, alongside those of the Venda Muslim Youth Movement want an end to the attack on Palestine by Israel. The marchers equate the killing and displacement of Palestine nationals at Gaza to the brutality meted out by the apartheid government in South Africa.
Khomotjo Mangwale of the South African Youth Council, says they want the South African government to take firm action against Israel.
“The freedom of South Africans cannot be complete while the other people are suffering. That is where you see us as South Africans partnering with the Muslim Youth Movement the Palestine freedom; through hook or thick, they must just attain their freedom. And we are calling the government of our country South Africa to make sure that if Israel does not listen to our call, we are left with no choice but to close the embassy of Israel because we cannot live with people that are oppressing the people.”
South African perspective of the ceasefire and further negotiations:
Human rights violations in Gaza
Social distancing was not strictly adhered to. Most of the marchers were marching alongside their young children.
Salman Patel of the Muslim Youth Movement says it is important for future generations to be conscious of the human right violations that are happening in Gaza.
“The reason why we called children to join is that in Palestine, the Israeli apartheid government has been gunning, bombing and causing violence, striking our kids as well. So, the kids have come with interest to ensure that they represent their brothers who have been mattered as well.”
The mayor of the Thulamela Municipality, Avhashoni Thsifhango also added his voice and has called on others to add theirs too.
“I feel very important for me to attend because we want Israel to know we support Palestine because we don’t want violence, we don’t want war. we need Palestine to have freedom like South Africa so I’m calling to others that let us support Palestine so that they have freedom like ours.”
The organisers say they will be staging similar marches in other parts of the country.
Video: Israeli politician calls for understanding over the complex Israel-Palestine questions