10 February 2016

South Africa: Cosatu Says the Struggle Against the Crimes of Apartheid and Colonialism Is Incomplete Without Freedom for Palestine

press release

COSATU and workers in general have over the years consistently pledged themselves to honour with dignity and renewed vigour, the international week against apartheid by Israel. Our resilient support to the struggle of the people of Palestine stems from the parallels drawn between Israel and the apartheid system as it existed in South Africa.

It is in this regard that our stalwart and icon, former South African President Nelson Mandela asserted, "we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians." This is the key principle we seek to amplify and build public awareness by harping on it always.

We therefore, in an act of true solidarity, join all organizations, trade unions, political parties and other groups who have unequivocally expressed support for the international Israel apartheid week (IAW) and have committed to the intensification of our struggle against colonialism, apartheid and occupation in more aggressive and active ways than ever before.

Once again, during the week of the 7th -13th March, COSATU and all its affiliates will be joining the rest of the world in paying a special tribute to the cause of the people of Palestine, with a special focus on Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails, particularly women and children political prisoners, who are incarcerated under extremely appalling conditions with; beatings, insults, threats, sexually explicit harassment and sexual violence, and humiliation at the hands of Israeli security system as their daily experiences.

It remains a staggering test of our humanity and a stain on our conscience that in this day and century, we are still witnessing these most savage forms of crude enslavement, genocide and dehumanisation visited upon people by the crude system of apartheid against the Palestinian people.

We call upon all workers and their families to participate in the IAW activities so as to reaffirm our unshaken commitment to our leader, Comrade Nelson Mandela's maxim that the cause of the Palestinian people is our cause too.

We remain highly inspired by the relentless global movement for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and all other progressive forces that are intensively engaged in the Palestinian cause against the apartheid regime of Israel. We also remain resolute that their struggle is absolutely our struggle and our victory is their victory too.

End Israeli apartheid NOW!

Bongani Masuku (International Relations Secretary)

Congress of South African Trade Unions

110 Jorissen Cnr Simmonds Street


P.O.Box 1019


South Africa


Tel: +27 11 339-4911 Direct 010 219-1337

Fax: +27 11 339-5080

Mobile: +27 79 499 6419

E-Mail: bongani@cosatu.org.za

South Africa

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