South African President, Jacob Zuma and his ruling African National Congress (ANC) party is hosting Hamas leader, Khaled Meshaal this week for a four-day visit that has enraged Israel. The governing party has vowed to build a long-lasting relationship with the Palestinian Islamic group and signed a letter of intent in Johannesburg on Monday committing to work together against the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestine.
Meshaal met with South Africa’s president upon his arrival Sunday and will hold a public rally Wednesday in Cape Town. The Hamas leader is accompanied on the trip by other senior members including Musa Abu Marzug and Mohammed Nazzal.
The ANC in the Western Cape has welcomed the delegation and ANC WC secretary, Faiez Jacobs says that the visit by Hamas is the most recent manifestation of the ANC’s support for the Palestinian cause.
“The ANC is unequivocal in its support for the Palestinian people in their struggle for self determination and unapologetic in our view that the Palestinians are the victims and the oppressed in the conflict with Apartheid Israel,” Jacobs continued.
ANC WC chairperson Marius Fransman added that the position of the ANC is that for Palestine to be truly free it requires maximum unity and maximum coherence of the Palestine society.
“This visit is important because it says that we recognise as a movement that there will be different interest groups in Palestine in pursuit of freedom and a ‘free Palestine’,” Fransman went further.
“Ultimately it will be the Palestinians that will be responsible for their own freedom.”
Speaking at a press conference held by the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) today, Moulana Igsaan Hendricks chairperson of the MJC says that this visit is a very decisive moment for South Africa and for the Palestinian people.
Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 and has been designated a terrorist organization by the European Union, the United States, Israel, Egypt, Japan and Canada. The group is a nationalist-Islamic spinoff of Egypt’s banned Muslim Brotherhood. VOC (Umarah Hartley)