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South Africa president: ‘I’ve never felt as proud as today’

January 13, 2024 at 12:57 pm

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks during a press conference at Luthuli House in Johannesburg on December 18, 2023 [ROBERTA CIUCCIO/AFP via Getty Images]

South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, commented on his country’s genocide case against Israel before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), expressing: “I have never felt as proud as I felt today when our legal team was arguing our case in The Hague.”

In his speech before the Women’s League of his ruling African National Congress (ANC) party, Ramaphosa said that his country’s goal in filing a lawsuit against Israel at the ICJ is to stop the genocide in the Gaza Strip.

Ramaphosa added: “When our lawyers were defending our case in The Hague, when I saw Ronald Lamola, a son of this land, presenting our case in court, I have never felt as proud as I do today.”

Regarding what his country might be subjected to because of the case, President Ramaphosa explained: “Some people say that the step we are taking is risky. We are a small country, and we have a small economy. They can attack us, but we will stand by our principles. As the father of our democracy taught us, we will not be truly free until the Palestinian people are free.”

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The ICJ heard South Africa’s arguments on Thursday and Israel’s response on Friday.

On 29 December, South Africa submitted an 84-page lawsuit, presenting evidence of Israel – the occupying power – violating its obligations under the United Nations Charter and its involvement in committing acts of genocide against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

For the 100th day, the Israeli occupation continues its genocidal aggression against the Gaza Strip, with US and European support, as its planes bomb hospitals, buildings, towers and homes of Palestinian civilians, destroying them over the heads of their residents.

The occupation has also prevented the entry of water, food, medicine and fuel, which led to the deaths of 23,469 martyrs and the wounding of 60,005, most of whom are women and children. It also caused the massive destruction of infrastructure and an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza and international organisations and bodies.

READ: Israel failed to disprove genocide case before World Court: South Africa