NEWS & ANALYSIS

EFF condemns Mogoeng Mogoeng's implicit criticism of BDS

CJ said while "former colonisers" responsible for untold suffering in Africa, we did not cut ties with them

EFF STATEMENT ON CHIEF JUSTICE MOGOENG AND HIS UTTERANCES AGAINST BDS

Friday, 26 June 2020

The EFF joins the progressive international community in condemnation of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng's criticism of Boycotts. Divestments and Sanctions as a strategy for the liberation of Palestine. In a dialogue conducted by the Jerusalem Post alongside the South African Chief Rabbi. Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng implicitly criticised South Africans and Africans at large "who condemn Israel over its policies toward the Palestinians. but embrace South Africa and Africa's former colonisers."

The Chief Justice asked if we had "cut diplomatic ties with our colonisers." He continued to ask if we have "disinvested from our former colonisers and those responsible for untold suffering in South Africa and Africa?" He added to ask: "Did Israel take away our land or the land of Africa, did Israel take our mineral wealth?"

This was in an attempt to delegitimise the international human rights movement to isolate the apartheid state of Israel until it ends its illegal, racist and genocidal occupation of Palestine.

We must unite in condemnation of the Chief Justice's questioning of this campaign on the basis that African people have not done the same to colonisers. This is utterly wrong and ahistorical. Anyone who has paid honest attention to how colonisation and Apartheid were defeated knows that it was through international solidarity-based, among other things. on Boycotts. Divestments and Sanctions.

There would have never been a Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng presiding over a democratic judiciary in South Africa if it were not of Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions against Apartheid. It was the international community that imposed sanctions on Apartheid, isolated it in sports, arts, culture bodies, and boycotted all products from South Africa, including products of companies that did not toe the boycott line. This is a fundamental feature of how apartheid South Africa was defeated.

No one in the world, least the Chief Justice of a democratic South Africa, must ever revise this important history. Our democracy, which provides for this important role of the Chief Justice was a gift of international solidarity.

This important gift must define our diplomatic and international relations as a nation and in our individual responsibilities as citizens. We have a duty to the world always to take the side of the oppressed. We too required the world to take the side of black people against Apartheid. We must reject any suggestion whatsoever that our contribution to the resolution of the Palestinian oppression is to remain neutral. Neutrality is complicit with oppression and will never facilitate lasting genuine peace.

The apartheid state of Israel oppresses the people of Palestine. These oppressed people have requested the world, the same way South Africa once did, to isolate the apartheid state of Israel until it ends it illegal, criminal, genocidal occupation of Palestinian lands.

We call on the Chief Justice to repent from contradicting this call. We call on him to retract his position and subdue himself to the collective wisdom and call by the oppressed in Palestine. As the oppressed, Palestinians say in order to force Israel to end the occupation, it must be isolated by all.

Even in our case, it is the intentional boycott movement that forced Apartheid to come to the negotiation table. As a result, without anyone facilitating us from outside, South Africans, on their own forged a path to peace.

It is truly a sad day in our country that Israel has found legitimacy for its racist occupation of Palestine from a Chief Justice in our own country. The Chief Justice should know better than all of us, that Israel is in direct violation of international law, violation of Palestinians rights to self-determination. Israel is the quintessential colonial power in the world today. It's very ability to exist over decades while systematically violating Palestinians human rights is because world superpowers support it.

We reiterate our call for the Chief Justice to withdraw his comments and join all progressive voices in an unequivocal condemnation of Apartheid Israel. He must realise that Palestine needs people of the world to unite behind them as they fight for self-determination: this is the just thing to do.

Statement issued by the EFF, 26 June 2020