Mandla Mandela backs BDS Coalition pro-Palestine ’protest’ ahead of Israeli ship docking in Durban
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Durban - The pro-Palestine South African Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Coalition (SA BDS Coalition) has received support from Inkosi Mandla Mandela ahead of planned protest action in opposition to an Israeli-owned ship unloading cargo at the Durban port on July 10.
Plans were already afoot to bar the Israeli-owned ZIM Shanghai shipping line from unloading cargo at the Durban harbour on Saturday, July 10, but these have been shelved following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ban on gatherings as part of the new adjusted alert level 4 regulations that he announced on Sunday.
However, the campaign has also received backing from Inkosi Mandela who said that the BDS movement constituted “the most powerful weapon in our hands” to end the occupation of Palestinian lands by the “Apartheid Israel” regime.
“Last month our dockworker heroes in Durban harbour refused to offload cargo from a ship carrying goods from Apartheid Israel. We call on Transnet management to deny docking rights to the Israeli owned ZIM shipping line.
“We also call on our gallant labour unions especially the dockworker unions to refuse to handle any goods emanating from Apartheid Israel especially the illegal settlements,” Inkosi Mandela said.
He said that with the ZIM Shanghai shipping line expected at the Durban harbour in early July, organisations involved in opposing it from offloading cargo should be vigilant for shifting dates as a means to foil their attempts.
Zuhayr Mohamed, the Durban coordinator of Block the Boat campaign for the SA BDS Coalition, said that although the gathering of civil society for protest action was not possible, that did not mean that there would be nothing done.
“The workers will still be taking a stand and they will be planning action.
“We are exploring other options and will confirm once we have direction from workers on what they are doing, things that are possible like picketing with distanced spacing, doing this from our vehicles may proceed in addition to action by fishermen on boats,” he said.