ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday lauded the stance taken by South Africa against Israel in its continued offensive against Palestine in the Gaza strip in middle east.
Ramaphosa was addressing ANCWL members at a build-up rally towards the governing party’s January 8 anniversary celebration bash on Saturday at Mbombela Stadium.
Hours after a top team of globally-acclaimed legal eagles presented the South African case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Netherlands, Ramaphosa said someone had to do it and there could not have been a better country to do so than SA.
As things stand, he charged, South Africa was the only country in the world that is genuinely concerned about the “slaughter” of Palestinians in Gaza.
It was for this reason that the country pulled all stops and invested serious resources to put together a formidable legal team for the case at the ICJ.
“We put together a formidable legal team to represent South Africa in our case against Israel in the International Court of Justice. We did that because we are seeing the horror of the killing of Palestinians in the Gaza strip,” said Ramaphosa.
“Many people and countries have been trying everything to plead with Israel to stop the slaughter of Palestinians in the Gaza strip and the West bank.
“But Israel has persisted in a genocidal slaughter of Palestinians. We felt we are duty bound as member of the ICJ because we were taught by Nelson Mandela that our freedom will never be complete until the freedom of Palestine is also attained.
“It is for that reason that we launched the court case. I have never felt as proud as I did today when our legal team was arguing our case in the Hague.”
SA stands by Palestinians
He continued: “I got a report that Palestinians who were there at the ICJ felt deep emotions they even cried because they have a sense that South Africa is possibly the only country that is standing by them through these trials and tribulations. We thank all South Africans for standing on principle.”
An eight-member South African team presented the country’s case at the ICJ calling for the court to issue an urgent order calling on Israel to stop its assault in Gaza that has claimed thousands of lives of Palestinians.
The team was led by Justice Minister Ronald Lamola and Ambassador Vusumuzi Madonsela with three senior counsels including Tembeka Ngcukaitobi SC and two King’s Counsel.
On Friday, the ICJ will hear the oral argument from Israel and will be expected to announce the interim order within 10 days.