We welcome the call by Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation the Honourable Alvin Botes at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Ministerial Committee on Palestine in Caracas, Venezuelastating that we should “advance this cause with more zeal”. This is indeed applaudable and commendable. However, we want to reiterate his call that The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is (must be) “a voice for peace, justice and equality”. It is our considered view that such peace, justice and equality is not, has never been, will never be possible within the parameters of a two-state solution.
We rejected bantustans in South Africa because they were illegitimate, not viable, not independent and were anathema to peace, justice and equality. A democratic South Africa cannot, should not and must not support an apartheid solution in occupied Palestine. We call on our leadership to unequivocally reject the dirty games of Apartheid Israel who have now held the process of peace, justice and equality ransom for decades whilst advancing the agenda of occupation, ethnic cleansing and genocidal crimes against humanity.
It is palpably clear that Apartheid Israel has never demonstrated any good will in respect of an independent Palestinian State instead it has protracted the peace process, extended the occupation, expanded illegal settlements, denied the right of return to Palestinian refugees, settled 700 000 illegal settlers on Palestinian lands, reduced the contiguous land mass under Palestinian control to less than ten percent of historic Palestine and all but decimated any hope of a two state solution.
We must ask whose interest do we serve by perpetuating the failed notion of a two state solution when Apartheid Israel in practice has snuffed out any viability of this option. We must return to the principle issue of peace, justice and equality and say for all the world to hear that those values are only attainable only by going back to the drawing board. Israel today has already legislated against equality through its Nation Law and has an addition 50 discriminatory laws on its statuette that renders Palestinians second class citizens in the land of their birth.
We are encouraged by the principled position taken by President Cyril Ramaphosa in the President’s Budget Debate last week reiterating that “We reaffirm our support for the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination”. Freedom was never possible for us within the parameters of a Bantustan solution in South Africa and it will never be possible in a Bantustan two-state solution.
Nkosi Zwelivelile “Mandla” Mandela, chief of the Mvezo Traditional Council and grandson of famed South African President Nelson Mandela. Member of Parliament (MP) South Africa National Assembly.