NEWS & ANALYSIS

Israel denies Nzimande & Co. entry visa into Palestine - SACP

Party says apartheid regime's decision an act of diplomatic aggression

Stop any Israeli official attempting to visit SA: SACP on Israeli government denying DHET Minister and three officials entry visas to Palestine

The South African Communist Party (SACP) is appalled by, and condemns in strongest terms possible, the apartheid Israeli regime's decision to deny our Minister of Higher Education and Training and SACP General Secretary Cde Blade Nzmande and his team of officials with an entry visa into Palestine.

The General Secretary in his capacity as the Minister was invited by his counterpart, the Minister of Higher Education, Dr Khawla Shaksheer to visit Palestine from 25-29 April 2015. “The visit follows on the State Visit by the Palestinian President, H.E. Mahmoud Abbas in November 2014 during which occasion an agreement on higher education and training between our countries was signed”, said the Department of Higher Education and Training:

“The visit was meant for the two Ministers to discuss an implementation plan for the signed agreement and to encourage further academic collaboration among Palestinian and South African academics, students and research communities.

Birzeit University and the University of Johannesburg have been identified as possible partners to collaborate in hosting area study programmes at their respective institutions and during the visit the Minister was to participate in a launch of the Centre for African Studies to be based at the Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Institute at the Birzeit University.”

The reason given for refusal to grant Cde Nzimande the visa is that he “had criticised the Israeli government”. As the SACP we will not allow any foreign government to decide for us what to think, say and do. All South Africans should take their cue and defend our inalienable right to freedom of speech and international solidarity with the oppressed people in any part of the world.

The despotic decision by the Israeli government is a declaration of diplomatic aggression on our government and not merely some malevolent act towards Cde Nzimande personally, the SACP and our liberation Alliance. The SACP calls on our government to reciprocate and reject Israeli requests for visits to South Africa. As the SACP we will also ensure this through mass action should any Israeli government representative attempt to visit our country.

The SACP will further intensify its campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel until it has vacated Occupied Palestinian Territories and the people of Palestine have their own state based on June 1967 borders in terms of international law, with East Jerusalem as the capital.

Statement issued by Alex Mashilo, SACP National Spokesperson, April 23 2015