Cape Town - A day prior to his attending a special event honouring the lives of Palestinians and Israelis who had died in the military conflict in Gaza, Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu says his laptop was hacked and an e-mail sent out to all those invited that the event had in fact been cancelled.
Speaking at the event, which went ahead on Thursday, Tutu said: “Now I don’t know how they (the hackers) thought I could postpone it when it was something that was not put together by me.”
Tutu was referring to the event, which was organised by the South African Jewish Voices for a Just Peace (JVJP) and at which he was the keynote speaker. The event was the unveiling of a plaque honouring the lives of the civilians who had been killed in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“So I do apologise and I’m so glad that whoever had these wonderful ideas about stopping this (the event) failed so spectacularly,” said Tutu.
He later told the Cape Times that a message had been sent from his computer on Wednesday, which said the unveiling of the event was cancelled and went on to list the contact number “or what purported to be (the contact number)”, of one of the event’s organisers, Leonard Shapiro.
At the event, Tutu thanked the JVJP for standing up for justice and goodness.
The organisation, which started about three months ago, is a group of Jewish South Africans “who recognise that the Jewish community is not homogenous in its thinking and that there are many different views on Israel”.
JVJP member Shapiro said they were the “new kids on the block” and wanted to organise their first official event to join people all over the world in speaking out against the violence acted out in their name.
The plaque, which Tutu was asked to unveil, read: “Between 1 July and 26 August 2014, 2 139 Palestinians were killed in Gaza by the Israeli military – 70 percent were civilians. Three Israelis and one foreign national were killed in Israel by the Palestinian militia.”
The plaque sits under a peach tree overlooked by Lion’s Head, Devil’s Peak and Table Mountain on the Tyisa Nabanye farm in Tamboerskloof.
Tutu said at the event that he will always stand up against injustice.
“Will somebody tell whoever needs to hear these things that this creature, Desmond Tutu, has never been against any person,” he said.
He said he wanted the Jewish Israelis and Palestinians to know that justice and goodness will prevail.
He also addressed fellow speaker, Struggle icon and Rivonia trialist, Denis Goldberg, saying: “Thank you Denis for the contribution you made to help me become free.”
Goldberg said he believed it was important to speak out about Zionism in its modern political form because it doesn’t help to be apathetic.
“I’m taking a stand against Zionism. I cannot allow myself to be anti-Semitic,” he said.