Two Politburo members of the Palestinian movement Hamas have arrived in South Africa as guests of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to attend the 54th National Conference of the ANC.
Following a meeting between senior Hamas and ANC leaders in 2015, the two parties have established a fraternal relationship and Hamas will join representatives of a number of other ANC partner organisations from around the world for the conference which will elect new leadership, the Islamist organisation said in a Friday press release.
The Hamas leaders said they want to observe the processes of democracy within the ANC, and are especially interested in a debate at the conference regarding a recommendation from the ANC’s July policy conference which proposed the downgrading of the South African embassy in Israel.
“The ANC’s adoption of a resolution on downgrading, or shutting down, the South African embassy in Tel Aviv will take Palestinian solidarity to a new level,” said Muhammad Nazzal, head of the Hamas delegation.
“It will establish South Africa at the forefront –especially in Africa – of solidarity efforts to liberate the Palestinian people. We have confidence that ANC delegates will consider all this, and will adopt this resolution enthusiastically.”
Apart from meeting ANC, SA Communist Party (SACP) and Congress of South African Trade Union (Cosatu) leaders, the delegation will also meet with religious leaders, political and civil society organisations and Palestine solidarity groups.
“Palestinians and South Africans together must build a global coalition that will deepen the isolation of the apartheid Israeli state,” Nazzal said.