Protests have been taking place in two Southern African countries, namely Kenya and South Africa, since the tragic Israeli attacks on Palestinians this week. This past Monday, Israeli police stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque where thousands of Palestinian worshippers had gathered seeking protection. However, 300 Palestinians and two Israeli officers were subsequently wounded, according to reports. Currently, there are back-and-forth attacks between Israeli troops and Hamas, a Palestinian militant group in Gaza, which have resulted in the death of at least 300 people and counting.
Earlier today in Kenya, police have dispersed a crowd of at least 200 protesters in Nairobi who are peacefully standing in solidarity with Palestinians. A number of protesters have been arrested according to Reuters. The protests started after prayers acknowledging the beginning of Eid were said at a nearby mosque. Among the protesters was well-known human rights activist and photojournalist, Boniface Mwangi, who explained his stance on Israel briefly saying, “Israel is the last Apartheid nation in the world.”
In South Africa, on the other hand, the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) and the Al Quds Foundation led a peaceful mass protest in Cape Town which was attended by thousands this past Wednesday. Among the attendees was Mandla Mandela, grandson of the late struggle veteran and former president, Nelson Mandela. Mandela called on protesters to demonstrate at the Embassy of Israel this Mandela Day (celebrated July 18) and demand its closure in addition to the closure of the South African Embassy in Tel Aviv. His grandfather’s stance on Israel, which he often referred to as an Apartheid state similar to that of South Africa’s pre-democracy, remained steadfast over the years with him having expressed, “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”
The ruling African National Congress (ANC) has since condemned the recent attacks on Palestinians with President Cyril Ramaphosa saying, “The NEC [National Excecutive Council] reaffirms its support for the people of Palestine and their struggle for freedom and self-determination,” EWN reports.