The African National Congress (ANC), has called for a cultural boycott of Israel after expressing disappointment in the recent visit of DJ Nkosinathi Maphumulo, popularly known as Black Coffee, reports IOL.
"We call on all artists to have an appreciation of the role played by the international anti-apartheid solidarity movement in the successful international isolation of apartheid South Africa," said Lindiwe Zulu, the Chairperson of the ANC's International Relations Committee in a Wednesday press release.
"The people of Palestine are in a just cause for self-determination and we urge our artists not to form part of the normalisation of Israeli's suppression of the Palestinian people in their quest for self-determination and statehood that mirrors our very own struggle.
"The South African artistic community, having themselves experienced discrimination and oppression, must, therefore, continue to pledge solidarity with others who are oppressed," said Zulu. He added:
In solidarity with the people of Palestine, we will continue highlighting shortcomings wherever they rear their head with regard to the role of South Africans in undermining the cause of the emancipation of the people of Palestine.
DJ Black Coffee performed at a sold-out show in Tel Aviv at the Easter Weekend. The artist claimed he was unaware of the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
In a tweet, the DJ said he was in the region because he would do anything to feed his family. "Like everyone else, I have rights and free will and, no, Black Coffee is not a political party. I work as an entertainer to feed my family. I will take a bullet for my family."
Like everyone else I have rights and free will and no Black Coffee is not a political party…I work as an entertainer to feed my Family.
To sum it up….I'll take a bullet for my Family.
— #PIECESOFME (@RealBlackCoffee) April 2, 2018
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) South Africa criticised Black Coffee for feigning ignorance as the group said it had approached him in 2014 prior to his Tel Aviv show.
BDS SA spokesperson Kwara Kekana said: "Black Coffee is familiar with the issue of the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine. In 2014, Palestine solidarity groups reached out to him before his performance in Tel-Aviv at that time, armed with sufficient information on the issue. He chose to cross the picket line just like he did this week."
The call for a cultural boycott also came simultaneously as the South African government strongly condemned the Israeli armed forces for the killing of 19 Palestinians, and the injuring of hundreds of others, over the last week as Gazans protested the continued Israel siege of the coastal enclave.