The Fifth Global Convention of Solidarity with Palestine in Johannesburg kicked off its first day of a three-day conference in Johannesburg on Sunday, with a joint session of delegates from various countries to address the issues facing Palestine.
The event themed “Nelson Mandela and Palestine: Confronting Racism till Liberation” is to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the passing of President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
Mandela died on December 5, 2013 at the age of 95. According to the event, they commemorate Mandela because he championed the struggles of Palestine.
It is also to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the launch of the Global Campaign to Return to Palestine founded on November 29.
Addressing delegates, tribal chief of the Mvezo Traditional Council and Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Mandla Mandela, said the event was rooted in a firm belief that every Palestine has a right to the land of their forefathers, adding that he will continue to support Palestine in the fight against racism and oppression.
He stated that this could only be achieved when Palestine is liberated from the scourge of imperialism, occupation and the shackles of racism as well the effects of more than 75 year’s catastrophe as it unfolds in Gaza and all over occupied Palestine.
Mandela called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to abandon the Bantu stance on the issue of Palestine.
“We want to call on his excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa to abandon the thoughts of Bantu stance to Palestine, abandon separate development, racism and apartheid in occupying Palestine,” he said.
He said they will not rest until victory falls on the people of Palestine. “Palestine shall be free from the river to the sea,” he said.
The event organised by the Royal House of South Africa and the Global Campaign to Return to Palestine, drew senators, humanitarian groups, academics, members of parliament, politicians and journalists, including Jews, Christians and Muslims.
Last week, scores of pro-Palestine supporters gathered to stage demonstrations to express their solidarity with Palestinians in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
They marched through the streets chanting with placards, banners, and posters calling for an immediate ceasefire amid escalating violence in Gaza.
To date, nearly 15,000 people, women and children included, have been killed in Gaza since Israeli troops started bombing the area.
The senior Hamas delegation has arrived in South Africa to participate in the convention. The delegation included politburo member Bassem Naim, Hamas representative in Iran Khaled Qaddoumi and Hamas representative in East, Central and Southern Africa Emad Saber.