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South African ambassador says her country determined to end ‘apartheid’, ‘genocide’ against Palestinians

By JT - Feb 25,2024 - Last updated at Feb 25,2024

South Africa’s Ambassador to Jordan Tselane Mokuena

AMMAN — South Africa’s Ambassador to Jordan Tselane Mokuena said that her country, which took Israel to the World Court, “draws much inspiration from His Majesty King Abdullah’s tireless efforts and commitment to the Palestinian cause”.

Mokuena described Jordan’s peaceful and diplomatic endeavours as a”beacon of hope to all the Palestinians and indeed, the peace-loving countries of the world”.

Delivering a speech at an event on Saturday by Jerusalem Museums Network titled, “‘Journalists in the crosshairs of bombing”, the ambassador thanked Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi and the Jordanian legal team for the legal argument they presented at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), “where the violations against the Holy Sites were clearly depicted while arguing against the illegal occupation of the Palestinian land and territory”.

On South Africa’s view of the presentation it made before the ICJ on January 11, 2024 and the court’s finding and provisional measures ordered on January 26, 2024, the ambassador said, “The ICJ’s decision marks a decisive victory for the international rule of law and a significant milestone in the search for justice for the Palestinian people and it also reaffirms the importance of global governance institutions including organs of the United Nations.

 It remains vital for all member states to respect and implement the decisions of the court.”

“South Africa is still hopeful that the ICJ decision will provide impetus to the search for a lasting political solution, peace and stability in the Middle East that many countries also called upon — as noted in the recent ICJ presentations on the illegal occupation of Palestine.”

She also said, “The finding also makes it clear that there is a serious risk of genocide against the Palestinian people in Gaza.” 

The Republic of South Africa has filed a case against Israel at the ICJ for genocide in Gaza in violations of the Genocide Convention.

Mokuena also expressed hopes those concerned with the court’s ruling “will not act to frustrate the application of this order and should desist from doing so.

They should instead, act to comply with it as we are all enjoined to do.”  

“South Africa will continue to act within the institutions of global governance to protect the rights, including the fundamental right to life, of Palestinians in Gaza — which continue to remain at urgent risk including from Israeli military assault, starvation and disease — and to obtain the fair and equal application of international law to all, in the interest of our collective humanity.”

She also reiterated her country’s pledge “to do everything within its power to preserve the existence of the Palestinian people as a group, to end all acts of apartheid and genocide against the Palestinian people and to walk with them towards the realisation of their collective right to self-determination”, citing Nelson Mandela’s declaration “our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”.

The ambassador concluded her speech paying tribute to Wael Dahdouh, the Al Jazeera bureau chief in Gaza, “who lost close family members and had the fortitude and determination to continue reporting the next day”.

“We also remember Shereen Abu Akleh, who died on duty and whose case is yet to be concluded.

We pray for fairness and justice in this regard.  I salute the departed for their bravery and wish to encourage the living to stay with the course.”

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