Palestine remembered at ANC conference

Published Dec 17, 2007


Amid media venues and caravans at the University of Limpopo where ANC members are at odds in leadership battle, stands a lone tent highlighting a much older crisis.

It features T-shirts, booklets and stickers on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

"We are here to create awareness - people are forgetting that apartheid still exists ," Yusuf Saloojee, a member of the Palestinian Solidarity Association, said on Monday.

He said the association was present on the sidelines of the national conference of the African National Congress outside Polokwane to keep the "continued oppression of the Palestinian people" on the agenda of the party and its members.

The ANC had always had close ties with the Palestinians and the significant role it, said Saloojee.

Bright, round, orange stickers read: "Apartheid Wall will Fall".

Booklets on the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories and T-shirts fill boxes lining the floor of the tiny tent.

"David and Goliath, Who's Who in the Middle East", reads the title of one publication, written by South Africa's Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils.

Saloojee and other members of the association are on hand to discuss the issue with anyone who drops by.

Amidst the sea of beige ANC T-shirts, a tall man in a white shirt purchased a large orange sticker over his heart.

Naj Sethole is an ANC member and an avid supporter of the Palestinian cause.

"I am an internationalist. I support the struggle of the working people of the world," he said.

On Sunday, ANC president Thabo Mbeki told delegates the party had "remained consistent" in its approach to solve the crisis in the Middle East.

"We remain committed to the view that everything should be done to establish an independent state of Palestine, living side by side and at peace with the state of Israel," Mbeki said. - Sapa

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