There was high drama at the Union Buildings on Tuesday as Mandla Mandela, the grandson of the late former president Nelson Mandela, was initially denied access to the former statesmen’s statue as he wanted to pay homage to him on the 10th anniversary of his death.
Mandla Mandela was in Pretoria partaking in a pro-Palestine march to the Union Buildings. During the peaceful march, he decided to detour and pay homage to his grandfather at the statue, but the police officers initially denied him access. They eventually conceded.
Mandela died on December 5, 2013, at the age of 95.
Mandla Mandela attended the three-day Global Convention of Solidarity with Palestine that was held in Johannesburg.
The convention was titled: Nelson Mandela and Palestine: Confronting Racism till Liberation. A Hamas delegation was represented at the convention to discuss the issue of Palestine and Israel.
Mandla Mandela was joined by delegates from various countries to address the issues of Palestine. The group staged a demonstration to commemorate the death of Mandela and also deliver a memorandum to government.
Addressing the crowd, Mandela called for support for Palestine against Israeli occupation in Gaza and the entire land of the Palestinians.
“For the past two days, I listened to their grievances in Gaza and all over occupied Palestine. We, therefore, said today, having listened to our brothers and sisters, shared our own experiences as South Africans of our struggle for liberation,” said Mandela.
He urged people not to give up and keep on supporting Palestinians. Receiving the memorandum, Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu said she would pass the grievances to President Cyril Ramaphosa to ensure that action was taken.
She said Parliament has already taken a step to close down the Israeli embassy to show support to the Palestinians.