Deputy President joins mosque prayer in show of support for Palestine

Deputy President Paul Mashatile addressing the Friday congregation at the RiversideSoofie Saheb Mosque. | KHAYA NGWENYA/ Independent Newspapers

Deputy President Paul Mashatile addressing the Friday congregation at the RiversideSoofie Saheb Mosque. | KHAYA NGWENYA/ Independent Newspapers

Published Feb 18, 2024


Durban — The Deputy President of South Africa, Paul Mashatile reaffirmed the ANC’s support for Palestine at a prayer held at the Riverside Soofie Saheb Mosque in Durban on Friday.

Mashatile joined worshippers for a prayer held by the Palestinian Solidarity Organisation, United for Palestine.

Mashatile, who was accompanied by former Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize and eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda, said they were excited to engage with the Muslim community in KwaZulu-Natal.

“It is uplifting to see you all here today showing your support of the role the democratic movement in South Africa led by the ANC has played towards justice and the liberation of the Palestinian people.”

He said that South Africans were committed to bringing all citizens together as one to defend their rights.

“This was a call we were all prepared to fulfil even if it meant losing our lives. It is indeed the same dedication which fuels our commitment to the heroic support of the Palestinians from Israeli oppression. We are guided by the words of our founder of our democracy, President Nelson Mandela when he said what counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived, it is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we’ve lived.”

Mashatile said that if President Nelson Mandela was alive he would not remain silent in the face of genocide.

“He would have moved mountains to fight and end the Israeli military slaughter on the people of Gaza and have Hamas release the hostages. Taking this case to the world court to bring about the end of this human tragedy would have been his priority no matter the cost.

“We have shown the world that South Africa’s human rights foreign policy did not end with Madiba. We are as committed today to the universality of human rights as we always were to the struggle of justice for freedom and self-determination. The struggle of the Palestinians is our struggle as it should be for all freedom-loving people of the world.

“Today we can at least say we stood on the right side of history, the side that will not ignore genocide and fight for the protection of civilians and children. We want the children of Gaza to be able to wake up to see the sun rise another day. To sleep through the night and not be petrified of being bombed in their beds. To walk outside without the fear of a sniper's gun ending their lives before they manage to find a piece of bread to eat. He said the ultimate goal must be the independence of Palestine and civilians living in peace.

“We as the cabinet have decided to go back to the International Court of Justice to advise them once again to protect not only the people of Gaza but also the people in Rafah. We do hope that the world will stand up against injustice but we as South Africa through the leadership of the ANC will not keep quiet when we see injustice. We will stand up at all times, no matter how strong they think they are, we will always stand up for justice.”

Sunday Tribune