JOHANNESBURG, April 4 – The African National Congress (ANC) has called for a cultural boycott of Israel after expressing disappointment in the recent performance in the Jewish state by South African record producer Nkosinathi Maphumulo, popularly known as Black Coffee.
“We call on all artists to have an appreciation of the role played by the international anti-apartheid solidarity movement in the successful international isolation of apartheid South Africa,” said Lindiwe Zulu, the Chairperson of the ANC’s International Relations Committee in a Wednesday press release.
“The people of Palestine are in a just cause for self determination and we urge our artists not to form part of the normalisation of Israeli’s suppression of the Palestinian people in their quest for self determination and statehood that mirrors our very own struggle.
“The South African artistic community, having themselves experienced discrimination and oppression, must therefore continue to pledge solidarity with others who are oppressed,” added Zulu.
She said the cultural aspect of the boycott was critical to ensure that the apartheid of the Israeli government was isolated. Zulu also called on South Africa’s creative sector to ensure that the country continued to play a critical role in helping to resolve the crisis of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.
“In solidarity with the people of Palestine, we will continue highlighting shortcomings wherever they rear their head with regard to the role of South Africans in undermining the cause of the emancipation of the people of Palestine,” said Zulu.
“We await an opportunity to engage Black Coffee and the creative sector at large, with a view to finding each other on this and other matters, as a way of creating common cause between all South Africans in rallying behind Palestine,” she added.
The boycott call followed the ANC at its 54th National Conference last year reaffirming its “unwavering commitment to the struggle of the Palestinian people and expressed its disappointment at the State of Israel’s lack of commitment towards a peaceful resolution.”
To this end, the conference resolved to immediately and unconditionally downgrade the South African Embassy in Israeli to a liaison office.
The call for a cultural boycott also came simultaneously as the South African government strongly condemned the Israeli armed forces for the killing of 17 Palestinians, and the injuring of hundreds of others, over the last week as Gazans protested the continued Israel siege of the coastal enclave.
“South Africa reiterates its view that the Israeli Defence Forces must withdraw and bring to an end the violent and destructive incursions into Palestinian territory,” said Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu.
“The actions of the Israeli armed forces present yet another obstacle to a permanent resolution to the conflict, which must come in the form of two states, Palestine and Israel, existing side-by-side and in peace.
“South Africa aligns itself with those members of the United Nations calling for an independent inquiry into the killings, with a view to holding to account those who are responsible.”
– African News Agency (ANA)