CAPE TOWN - Pro-Palestinian supporters in Cape Town have likened modern-day Israel to South Africa in the Apartheid state, saying it was "heartbreaking" to still see people treated like that.

Several thousand people marched from Keizersgracht Street to Parliament in Cape Town in support of Palestine, this after Israel opened fire on Palestinian protesters on the Israel-Gaza border on Monday, leaving at least 60 dead and over 2,200 wounded. 

The protesters had gathered in their tens of thousands to denounce the move by the US to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

On Tuesday, a number of people had gathered early outside the gates of Parliament awaiting the arrival of the main march, with almost all donning Palestinian scarves, t-shirts and other gear in support of Palestine.

A pensioner said she came all the way from Kensington to support the protest. 

Shereen Marley from Salt river said: "The people don't understand, it's like in the apartheid era and I don't know why these people must be treated like that and it is pathetic to see that not a lot of people are attending. This is heartbreaking. How many have been killed?

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"It's exactly like what happened in the apartheid era and we don't stand together and show them we are not happy with what's going on."

MP Mandla Mandela speaking at the march said he remembers his famous grandfather Nelson Mandela standing tall and saying: "Our freedom is incomplete as South Africans without the freedom of the Palestinians."

He said during a visit to the Palestinian city of Hebron he had seen firsthand the brutality of the apartheid Israeli regime.

"It was there during my stay that I received a call from the South African Jewish Board of Deputies," Mandela said.

The board, according to Mandela, pleaded with him to visit their leadership, in particular their president.

"I said they must recall my grandfather's words when he undertook to take on the talks with the apartheid regime. It was on a simple spirit that the apartheid regime must unban all political parties, must release all political prisoners," said Mandela.

Mandela added that he shared the same sentiments to the SAJBD.

"Under no circumstances will I be prepared to meet with the Israeli apartheid regime," he said, adding that he will only do so if they meet three conditions, namely if they immediately release all Palestinian political prisoners, immediately allow all Palestinians in exile to have the right of return, and also to ensure that all political parties in Palestine are unbanned and invited to negotiations.

African News Agency/ANA