Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma met representatives of civil society, trade unions, and the ANC Youth League to discuss support for Palestine, lobby group Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) SA said on Thursday.
“The 90 minute meeting on Palestine was convened in response to growing protests by South African civil society across the country including a recent 9th August 150 000 person strong protest march in Cape Town,” BDS SA's Muhammed Desai said in a statement.
“In the meeting with the president we expressed what the hundreds of thousands of South Africans want our government to do in support of the Palestinians.”
The meeting was held at Zuma's official residence Genadendal in Cape Town on Wednesday.
Representatives of the National Coalition 4 Palestine, BDS SA, the Congress of SA Trade Unions, the African National Congress Youth League, People Against Suffering and Oppression, Young Communist League of SA, University of Cape Town Students Representative Council, Minara Chamber of Commerce, Kairos Southern Africa, Muslim Judicial Council, and StopTheJNF were present.
The group called for boycotts, divestments and sanctions against Israel.
They also reiterated the call for the Israeli ambassador to be expelled from Pretoria.
“During the meeting President Jacob Zuma listened carefully to all the views presented by the various organisations and indicated a willingness to engage.
“The president explained the role South Africa is trying to play diplomatically while also acknowledging and considering our demands and not dismissing them.”
Desai said Zuma was willing to work with the group towards finding a long-term solution
The group would have another meeting with Zuma in a week's time.