Mandla Mandela wants SA to expel Israeli ambassador and charge South Africans serving in Israel army with war crimes

ANC MP Inkosi Zwelivelile Mandla Mandela. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

ANC MP Inkosi Zwelivelile Mandla Mandela. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Sep 23, 2021


Pretoria - Former president Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Inkosi Zwelivelile Mandla Mandela has voiced support for the call by International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor and the South African government to rescind “apartheid Israel's” observer status at the African Union (AU).

“We cannot normalise relations with Apartheid Israel whilst it continuously rides roughshod over the human rights of the Palestinians, incarcerate, torture and maim innocent civilians, and act with impunity and violates international law on several accounts as if it is a law unto itself,” said MP in a statement issued from Mvezo Komkhulu (The Great Place).

“We support the call because the process of granting Israel observer status was fatally flawed as AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki acted unilaterally and without consulting member states and/or Executive Members of the African Union.”

Inkosi Mandela said it is “inconceivable” that Africa itself, a victim of centuries of occupation, subjugation and oppression can condone the continued occupation of Palestinian lands by the apartheid Israel state and denial of fundamental human rights of the Palestinians as well as its continued expansion of illegal apartheid settlements on occupied Palestinian lands.

“We call on Africans all over the continent and in the diaspora to come out in protest over the granting of Apartheid Israel's observer status at the AU. We must disassociate from the unilateral decision to grant apartheid Israel's regime observer status,” he said.

We call on Minister Pandor to, in view of apartheid Israel's intransigence in embracing a genuine peace process to cut all diplomatic ties and send its ambassador packing. We expected no less from others in the global anti-apartheid movement in support of our just struggle.”

Inkosi Mandela said likewise, South Africans who continue to serve in the Israeli Defence Force must be tried for war crimes and violating the South African Foreign Military Assistance Act.

They are guilty of committing gross human rights violations against Palestinian civilians at checkpoints every day,” said Nkosi Mandela.

“Let us not make excuses of being honest and impartial peace brokers. Those positions come from embedded old order apartheid apparatchiks in the South African administration who continue to serve the interests of their old masters and that of Apartheid Israel's interests.”

Earlier this week, Pandor revealed that the AU will discuss the decision of the union’s commission chairperson to grant Israel observer status in the organisation.

Pandor said the matter would come before the AU in October during a session.

She said at the meeting of the AU they would push for the body to rescind this decision.

South Africa and other countries had objected to the decision of Faki to grant Israel observer status in the continental body.

Pandor, who was replying to a written parliamentary question from the EFF, said they still object to this decision.

Asked whether the government would shut down the embassy of Israel, Pandor said it was not on the table.

South Africa downgraded its mission in Israel to a liaison office after a resolution of the ANC in Nasrec in 2017.

“South Africa maintains diplomatic relations with Israel and as per the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, Israel has an embassy in South Africa and South Africa maintains an embassy in Israel. There are no plans to request the closure of the Israeli embassy in South Africa,” said Pandor.