World Bulletin / News Desk
Hundreds of South Africans protested on Sunday against an Israeli trade exhibition currently being held in Johannesburg.
"How can Israel say they are not aggressors, when they are building homes and annexing Palestinian lands," Obed Bapela, a deputy minister in the presidency, said amidst wild cheers from the crowd which carried Palestinian flags and placards calling on South Africa to terminate trade with Israel.
"The apartheid wall should go down," he asserted.
Bapela, who is also the head of the ruling African National Congress (ANC)'s International Relations, reaffirmed the party's position on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
"The ANC remains steadfast in supporting the Palestinian cause," he said. "Our relations with Palestine did not start today. If we abandon the Palestinian cause Mandela will be upset with us"
South Africa's late national liberation hero once famously said: "We know all too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians."
Most speakers and protesters said this exhibition should be the last Israel trade expo held on South African soil.
"South Africa should terminate trade relations with Israel," said protester Mohamed Golam.
"Why should we continue trading with an oppressive state?" he asked.
The trade expo, currently being hosted at the Sandton Convention Centre, is organized by the South African Zionist Federation.
It showcases Israeli products including wine, food and medicine.
"We don't hate Jews, but the ideology of Zionism," asserted Bapela, urging South African Jews to join them in condemning the Israeli government's aggressions against Palestinians.
A Jewish South African university student energized the crowds when he said he sees Israel as an unjust state.
"Working from my Jewish texts (the Torah) it says doesn't oppress your neighbor, justice-justice you shall pursue," Mitchell Hunter told.
He said seeing Israel going against some of the principals of the Jewish holy book makes him view the Israeli government as being unjust.
"They cause orphans by bombing Palestine," said Hunter.
He lamented that while his cousins in Israel can go to the beach, Palestinian children cannot.
"Therefore as a Jew I see Israel as unjust state," Hunter told.Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Mayıs 2017, 17:01