Qaanitah Hunter – Cii News – June 7, 2012
The a cross spectrum political parties and civil society organisations in the Western Cape have objected to the awarding of the freedom of Cape Town city to US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle.
Trade union federation COSATU, the Pan African Congress (PAC), the Muslim Judicial Council , the Al Jamaah party, the SA Council of Churches, National Party of South Africa, the Western Cape ANC, United Democratic Movement, COPE, Sangoco, are united in their objection to the Obama’s receiving the award.
A press conference was held last night where representatives from the various parties voiced their disdain.
Al Jamaah leader, Ganief Hendricks, on Thursday told Cii’s Sabahul Khair, programme on Wednesday that, “The parties indicated that if President Obama comes to Cape Town to receive the award there will be mass action and I warned that the temperatures of the Muslim community will not be controlled and we will blame the city for any violence that will happen.”
The mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille, last month, recommended that US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle receive the freedom of the city.
Last week the Cape Town Mayoral committee approved the award but said the decision now has to follow further consultative processes including discussions with the office of the South African president, Jacob Zuma, before the official and final decision can be taken.
The Cape Times quoted de Lille as saying that the couple exuded leadership, excellence and inclusion, which made them natural candidates for the city’s highest accolade.
The political parties accused the DA of playing party politics of dividing the City.
“These divisions are fueling the sense of them and the US that the DA is trying to create in the City, for their own short term political gain,” a statement issued by COSATU Western Cape Provincial Secretary, Tony Ehrenreich, said.
Questions were raised on the non consultative stance taken by the DA and the fact that the DA ignores the sentiments of the majority of Capetonians on the Israeli Palestinian issue.
The atrocious behavior of the USA on the Palestinian question, and there endorsement of Israel aggression against the people of Palestine was one reason for defiance of the award.
“We support the need for peace between the Muslims, Christians and the Jewish communities in the Middle East, but we will never support the Zionist agenda, promoted by the USA,” the statement said.
The caucus of political parties is demanding the withdrawal of the invitation to Obama for the Freedom of the City and the intervention of the national government.
“We demand that the setting of a clear National protocol in these matters, when dealing with sitting heads of State in other countries.”
The caucus further emphasised their demand that the United States stops blocking the resolutions against peace and justice in the Middle East.Al Jamaah, ANC, Cosatu, Freedom of Cape Town, Obama, PAC