said Zwelivile Mandela – the late leader's grandson Nelson Mandela– The legal team for the State of South Africa will follow up on the case he filed before international justice CourtBut he is awaiting the report that Israel will submit within a month, in order to discover the options available to him, and we will explore other ways, such as International Criminal CourtAnd the Security CouncilUnited Nations General Assembly.
Mandela, the grandson, added – in an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera Net – that he was wearing:Palestinian scarf“The war on the Gaza Strip is a clear example of Western imperialism and its hypocrisy,” and “they did not even impose sanctions on the country.” Apartheid Israel, and they did not issue an arrest warrant against the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu And his ministers are war criminals.”
He also pointed to the strong historical relationship between Mandela, the grandfather, and the Palestinian cause, who strengthened his relations with the late Palestinian leader. Yasser ArafatWhen he said, “Our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinian people.”
Zwilifel – a representative of the African National Congress Party in the South African Parliament – advised the Palestinian resistance “to unite and speak with one voice, and to be able to coordinate their efforts in order to defend the lands in which they were born and the lands of their ancestors, resist occupation, resist aggression, and resist settler colonialism.” .
And the details of the dialogue..
How do you view the International Court of Justice’s decision regarding Israel’s crimes in Gaza and Palestine in general?
We welcome the recent ruling of the International Court of Justice, and we want to pay tribute to our government in South Africa under the leadership of the President Cyril Ramaphosaas well as Ministers of Foreign Affairs Naledi Pandor and Justice Ronald Lamola, and our legal team who did an outstanding job by bringing this case to court to hold the apartheid state Israel accountable for its genocide, ethnic cleansing, as well as war crimes.
This is a truly historic moment to hold the apartheid state accountable for its crimes against the Palestinians in Gaza and throughout occupied Palestine.
Our legal team will await the report provided by the apartheid state Israel and will therefore be able to explore the different options that may be available
Will this decision stop the aggression against Gaza?
This is the beginning that we need to make sure we stick to. As you heard from the court ruling, the Zionist state of Israel, which imposes apartheid, is expected to submit a report to the court within a month on what it has been able to implement to ensure the protection of civilians, and to ensure the provision of aid to the Palestinians in Gaza in particular.
So we are all waiting for the report that the apartheid state Israel will submit to the court, and I think our legal team is also looking forward to taking the next step after we receive this report.
Many people in the world view South Africa with great respect for defending the justice of the Palestinian cause. Will you continue to defend this cause?
Our commitment to defending the Palestinian cause stems from our darkest days in the struggle for liberation. My grandfather Nelson Mandela said he was inspired to fight for freedom by the Palestinian struggle when he was detained for life on Robben Island.
When he was released, he undertook to visit the African National Congress in Zambia, where he met for the first time the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, and made a lasting commitment to him friendship and brotherhood.
If we take advantage of the protests that we have now witnessed in all cities around the world, and work with one effort, we will eventually bring down the racist state of Israel.
In 1997, Mandela (Grandfather) said, “Our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinian people.” For us, this is a real commitment, and we are the generation that will fulfill Mandela's commitment.
We have always committed to defending the Palestinian cause, and now it is a matter of the commitment of the government in South Africa, which was able to file this case before the International Court of Justice, and we will explore other avenues such as the International Criminal Court, as well as the Security Council and the United Nations General Assembly.
Our legal team will also await the report submitted by the apartheid state in Israel and will therefore be able to explore the different options that may be available.
But I would like to stress that the matter is not just in the hands of our legal team in South Africa or even our government; Because we as members of the international community need to be more proactive in ensuring that those who commit genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity are held accountable; So we must continue to put pressure on our governments to act accordingly and ensure that Netanyahu and the war criminals in his government are held accountable.
I have seen the West's position on the Russian-Ukrainian war, and I have also seen its position on the aggression against Gaza, so how do you see the comparison between the two positions?
This is a clear and true example of the hypocrisy of Western imperialism at the highest level. You saw how they were able to impose sanctions on Russia immediately, as well as issue an arrest warrant against the Russian president Vladimir Putin.
But regarding the issue of Israel’s aggression against Gaza, they did not act in the same way, and this is simply due to the rhetoric that they were promoting throughout the history of white racism, and that is why we in Africa – and in South Africa in particular – were unable to fight 350 years of colonialism, along with… 60 years of brutal apartheid.
What is happening really shows the hypocrisy practiced by both the United States of America and the United Kingdom. This does not come as a surprise to us; Because they did not impose sanctions on the racist state in Israel, and did not even issue an arrest warrant against Netanyahu and his ministers, who are war criminals.
Leader Nelson Mandela: Our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinian people
In your personal experience, you lived through the apartheid system in your country in the last century, but now we see it as a reality in Palestine. What is your advice to the resistance in the occupied territories?
We can truly empathize as South Africans with what the people of Gaza are experiencing today because of the past we have lived through in our country. Therefore, we have constantly said to the Palestinian resistance specifically that they must unite and speak with one voice, and be able to coordinate their efforts in order to defend the lands in which they were born and the lands of their ancestors, and they must resist occupation, aggression, and settler colonialism, as we did in South Africa.
Therefore, we say from our own experience that the struggle for liberation is being fought on many fronts, not only through armed resistance, but we need to ensure that civil society inside Gaza – as well as in all the occupied territories – will continue to protest, demonstrate and march.
The presence of 6 million Palestinians in the diaspora will actively participate, and will be ambassadors for their own struggle for liberation, because we have done the same here in South Africa, and many of our artists abroad – such as Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela – have become ambassadors for our struggle to liberate our people.
The most important thing is to capitalize on the protests that we have now witnessed in all cities around the world, and if we are able to coordinate our efforts and work with one effort, we will eventually bring down the racist state of Israel.
In addition, we can isolate the apartheid state, Israel, as we isolated apartheid South Africa, through boycott and divestment, as well as imposing sanctions. We will be able to achieve victory, and we will see a free Palestine.
On the personal level and party work, what activities and events do you undertake to defend the Palestinian cause?
I can talk about our international campaign that will start soon; On February 11, leader Mandela was released after spending 27 years in prison. Many countries around the world have statues of President Mandela, and we call on the international community on this day to visit them and place the keffiyeh or the Palestinian flag on his statues.
The largest statue of President Mandela is located in South Africa in the Union Building, and the largest statue of him outside South Africa is in Palestine in Ramallah. Therefore, I say that from the Union Building to Ramallah and all over the world, where the statue of President Mandela is, let us keep the Palestinian flag raised around the statues of President Mandela.