Cape Town - Anti-apartheid activist-theologian Dr Allan Boesak’s visit to the community of Lavender Hill on Sunday didn’t go quite as planned.
Boesak’s presence in the community was in solidarity after City of Cape Town workers recently painted over a mural of a Palestinian flag in Wicht Court.
Video footage showed the City workers painting over a Palestinian flag while residents tried to prevent it.
A large group came out to the City-owned flats where the mural was removed to listen to Boesak addressing the community.
However, this was not meant to be as the Wicht Court Association called for a more in-depth discussion regarding the mural.
According to Boesak, there seemed to be confusion in the community regarding the gathering.
“I think the confusion has been caused by the City and the DA. The DA seems to think it has the right to erase Palestinian flags from walls when it’s put up by people. They are in contradistinction of the Constitution, they are in contravention of the Constitution,” Boesak said.
He said that the people have the right to freedom of expression and to express their solidarity with Palestine.
“At a time when the government of this country has taken the Israeli government to court charging genocide. That is a serious situation, but it creates a context for our people to find ways to where they, in their own as communities, can express their support,” he said.
A new gathering with residents will take place, although no time or date has been established.
Adele Campbell, chairperson of the Wicht Court Association, says every flat tenant has their own opinion regarding the mural.
“We are not saying that we don’t understand what is going on in Palestine, but we must achieve a consensus to live in peace and harmony afterwards,” she said.
A meeting will take place today where one person per household will vote along with two religious leaders to educate and inform the residents.
Ebrahiem Freeman, 61, who painted the mural, said that his heart was broken when it was painted over.
“It reminded me of the apartheid years, the years of (BJ) Vorster and (HF) Verwoerd. Blacks only, whites only. It reminds me of that, it broke my heart,” he says.
Ebrahiem said that are in the process of applying for a permit to repaint the mural.
“Yes, we are busy applying so that we can repaint it. It’s our small thing to do to show our support.”