World Bulletin / News Desk
Thousands of South Africans marched to the parliament building on Wednesday to express their solidarity with ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and anti-coup protesters who were killed in a violent crackdown by Egyptian security forces.
"We are protesting against the murder of pro-democracy protesters, the military coup and the detention of President Mohamed Morsi and other leading figures of the Muslim brotherhood," Sheikh Irfaan Abrahams of the Muslims Judicial Council of South Africa (MJC) told the Anadolu Agency.
He said South Africans felt "the pain" that Egypt's anti-coup protesters went through as South Africans experienced "similar difficulties" during the apartheid rule.
The march was co-organized by the MJC, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the ruling African National Congress party (ANC).
This is the second protest to be organized by the MJC against what the military coup in Egypt.
The first protest took place on July 17 with the participation of over 2,000 people.
The Egyptian army ousted Morsi, the country's first democratically elected president, on July 3 following mass protests against his regime.
It suspended the constitution and installed the head of the constitutional court as interim president.
Several countries, including South Africa, has described the unconstitutional change of government in Egypt as a military coup.
The Department of International Relations and Corporation (DIRCO) has condemned the recent harsh tone used by the army-backed Egyptian authorities in criticizing South Africa’s position.
"We had deliberately avoided responding to the statements issued by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs since the military coup in that country," DIRCO spokesman told the AA Tuesday.
"But because they have singled out South Africa in their criticism this won’t go unchallenged."
MJC spokesperson Nabeweyah Mallic said they decided to organize a second protest after the military intensified its crackdown on anti-coup protesters in Egypt.
"Down with Sisi down, viva Morsi viva, viva Egypt viva, viva Turkey viva, viva Mandela viva, viva Democracy viva," Sheikh Abrahams and Sheikh Ebrahim Gabriels, another MJC leader, chanted as they led protesters through the streets of Cape Town. They were referring to Egyptian army chief Gen Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.
Most of the protesters carried posters bearing Morsi’s picture while others carried Egyptian and South African flags.
An ANC representative led the crowd in singing revolutionary anti-apartheid songs.
He said his ruling party was in solidarity with Egyptian anti-coup protesters and does not support the unconstitutional change of governments.
Leaders of the protest handed over a memorandum to the chairperson of the parliament's Department of International Relations and Cooperation Committee, T. Magama, urging the parliament to maintain a tough sentence on Egypt.
Sheikh Abrahams told the AA that the memorandum requested that South Africa pressure the regime in Egypt into releasing all political prisoners or else they should end diplomatic ties with them.
"It is sad that so-called world leaders are watching as Egypt goes up in flames," Zaid Mohamed, an Egyptian national living in South Africa, told the AA.
"I am here to express my solidarity with Egyptians against the military coup."Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Ağustos 2013, 09:49