Picture: Rapula Moatshe/Pretoria News

Pretoria - A picket by the EFF supporters outside the Israel embassy on Kings Highway Street in Pretoria continued on Thursday amid the presence of the SAPS officers and Tshwane metro police.

Dressed in their red traditional colours, party supporters said they picketed to express their solidarity with the Palestinians. They also called for the embassy to shut down. 

Other people held up placards bearing the anti-Israel messages such as "Free Palestine; End Israel ethnic Cleansing of Gaza; Break the Siege on Gaza; Shut down apartheid Israel Embassy".

Party spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi led the gathering of picketers in Struggle songs and dancing while the SAPS officers and Tshwane metro police looked on.

Ndlozi earlier on addressed the crowd, saying: "Israel is not the same as the Israel in the Bible. It is using that name to continue murdering the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and we are not going to allow that. They are like the Boers here in South Africa who said they have been chosen by God to oppress us here in South Africa.  

"We are not going to allow that because we are internationalists. So nobody is going to quote verses and scriptures to us here, trying to mislead us that everywhere in the world people must accept the Bible and give away their land. It is not going to happen. The Palestinians have the right to belong to their land which is Palestine. We make no apology about that." 

              Video: Rapula Moatshe/Pretoria News

He also told the crowd that EFF was not only waging its fight against President Jacob Zuma to step down.

"We are not only preoccupied with Ubaba kaDuduzane. We know that there are many Ubaba kaDuduzanes in the world. We will support the people of the world everywhere. They will receive our support as revolutionaries," he said. 

In attendance were members of organisations such as the Solidarity Alliance and the Ahmed Khathrada Foundation.

"Ahmed Khathrada rejects Israel as well. He rejected Israel and he is still in his spirit still rejects Israel," Ndlozi said.

People were bused from Church Square in the CBD to the embassy on Thursday morning.

Some were spotted singing and dancing outside the Woolworths store on the corner of Lillian Ngoyi and Helen Joseph, calling for the business operation to be halted for a day because of its links to Israel. They had threatened to close down another Woolworths store in Sunny Park Mall in Sunnyside, but they were unable to go there.

EFF leaders said the picket outside the embassy was staged in solidarity with the international community in condemnation of the Zionist government of Israel.

The picket coincided with the the centenary anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, 02 November 1917, in which Britain declared its colonial project of creating a Jewish state in Palestine, they said.

Pickers were expected to depart from the embassy at 5pm.

Pretoria News