South African president says war in Gaza genocide, repeats call for cease-fire

Ramaphosa says what’s happening in Palestine has similarities with what happened in South Africa during apartheid era

Calling the ongoing war in Gaza “genocide,” South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday repeated a call for a permanent cease-fire.

“As we look at the sufferings of the Palestinians, they are going through what we as South Africans have experienced during the apartheid era,” he said at a media briefing alongside South African organizations supporting the liberation of Palestine.

Ramaphosa said what’s unfolding in Gaza is a genocidal onslaught and the slaughter of the people of Palestine.

He condemned the collective punishment being meted out on innocent Palestinians. “Children and women are being killed cruelly,” he said, adding this should concern everyone in the world.

Ramaphosa said his party, the African National Congress (ANC), which fought apartheid in South Africa leading the country to democracy in 1994 has taken a stance to speak out against what is happening in Palestine.

“We do this not out of political adventurism, for us this is a matter of principle. A principle that is born out of our own experience as a people of South Africa, who struggled against an oppressive apartheid system,” he said.

The South African leader said the ANC wants to make clear that it unequivocally supports the struggle of the people of Palestine for their freedom and self-determination.

“People around the world are responding with horror to what they see in Gaza. This should stop now. Hostages must be released and so must the prisoners who are being held in Israeli prisons be released to create a conducive environment for peaceful discussions,” the president said.

Ramaphosa also condemned the actions of Hamas on Oct. 7, killing innocent civilians in Israel.


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