South African Students Congress

SASCO statement on comrade Leila Khaled's visit to SA

21 January 2015

The South African Students Congress welcomes the visit of Palestinian freedom fighter and international icon Comrade Leila Khaled. Leila Khaled will be in South Africa on a fundraising speaking tour on behalf of BDS SA in February.

SASCO has consistently pledged solidarity with the people of Palestine and will continue to do so without reservation until we see a free Palestine. SASCO endorses the non-violent campaign of boycotts, divestments and imposing sanctions against the apartheid state of Israel.

The visit by Comrade Khaled provides the South African people an opportunity to hear the stories of the viciousness of the Israeli regime. We hope her interactions with the people of South Africa will also give us a chance to reflect on our history and the price at which freedom came in this country.

SASCO is perturbed by the Israel supporters who want to try and discredit the role that Comrade Khaled has played and continues to play in the struggle to see a free Palestine and liberate her people by calling her a terrorist. The Israeli supporters in this country and the world who today support and applaud the systematic killing of innocent Palestinians and act in utter impunity.

We need to engage in a discourse on what is terrorism, who gets to define terrorism especially in the South African context and how this shapes the foreign policy position of a particular country. Today many are able to celebrate a free and democratic South Africa and enjoy busking in the legacy of Nelson Mandela who was up until 2008 on the US terrorism watch list including the ANC. This piece of history is conveniently forgotten. The Israeli supporters in this country cannot possibly define to us what terrorism is when they have declared themselves the first line of defence in South Africa in protecting Israel, a state that has total disregard for human rights and human life, a regime that continues to terrorise an innocent Palestinian civilian population.

Palestinians have a right to resist the occupation by all means available to them, a right afforded to them by international law.

We hope to have an interaction with the heroic freedom fighter upon her arrival in South Africa and wish her and BDS SA success in their tour.

Issued by the NEC of SASCO

For more information contact,

Ntuthuko Makhombothi (SASCO President) on 071 875 2209

or

Luzuko Buku (SASCO Secretary General) on 0718793258