Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Wide support for SA’s stop the war campaign

Various religious bodies, political parties and non-governmental organisations met under the ”Stop The War Campaign” in Johannesburg on Tuesday morning to condemn the impending United States-led attack on Iraq.

Briefing journalists, meeting chairman Molese Tsele, of the SA Council of Churches, said: ”Our purpose is clear. To state simply and forthrightly that all South Africans have the responsibility to stop the war and secure peace and development all over the world.

”We are united in our conviction that war against Iraq is wrong. It is wrong because it is the poor who will be the main victims. It is wrong because it will inflame, rather than resolve global conflicts, particularly those in the Middle East. It is wrong because forces of power and greed motivate it.”

He called on people to unite in their support of the international day of action planned for Saturday.

”We will support the demonstrations planned around the country. We will also join together, as united people, to present our concerns to the United States Embassy in Pretoria next Wednesday.”

Ebrahim Bham, head of the Muslim Alliance Against War, said many people in South Africa, including Muslims, were opposed to the prospect of war in the Gulf.

”We oppose the war mongering stance of the United States, Britain, Israel and Australia. We stand firm in our condemnation of United States imperialism in its blatant attempt to undermine the United Nations.

”We believe that this so-called war on terror is a disguised attempt to intimidate and suppress Muslims who stand up to US aggression and imperialism.”

Bham also called on the Iraqi government to fully co-operate with the United Nations, which has sent an arms inspection team to the Gulf country to determine if it still possessed weapons of mass destruction.

Jewish Voices SA chairman, Ivor Chipkin, said: ”Any war with Iraq threatens the stability of the Middle East and the conclusion of a just solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict…

”It is therefore essential that any war with Iraq is sanctioned by the UN according to accepted principles of justice and international law.

”We oppose this war as Jews, precisely because we believe its consequences to be dangerous for world Jewry. In a war that risks being patently unjust, if not illegal, and that is easily interpreted as an attack on Muslims and Arabs, Jews cannot afford to be silent in their opposition to this war,” he said.

The Anglican Archbishop of Southern Africa Njongonkulu added his voice to the calls for peace.

”This planned war on Iraq is a redirection of resources which is desperately needed in other areas. We need to stiffen our spines and stop a war before it even begins.”

Other organisations represented at Tuesday’s meeting included the African National Congress, Congress of South African Trade Unions, Human Rights Foundation, Ceasefire Campaign, Treatment Action Campaign, Centre for Conflict Resolution and the South African Catholic Bishops Conference.

Marches nationwide have been planned for Saturday, in support of the international day of action against war. – Sapa

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Fears of violence persist a year after the murder of...

The court battle to stop coal mining in rural KwaZulu-Natal has heightened the sense of danger among environmental activists

Data shows EFF has lower negative sentiment online among voters...

The EFF has a stronger online presence than the ANC and Democratic Alliance

More top stories

Eastern Cape premier Mabuyane lives large amid province’s poverty

Oscar Mabuyane and MEC Babalo Madikizela allegedly used a portion of state funds for struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s commemoration for their own benefit

Constitutional court confirms warrantless searches in cordoned off areas unconstitutional

The law was challenged in response to raids in inner Johannesburg seemingly targeting illegal immigrants and the highest court has pronounced itself 10 days before an election in which then mayor Herman Mashaba has campaigned on an anti-foreigner ticket

A blunt Mantashe makes no promises during election campaigning

ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe told people in Daveyton to stop expecting handouts from the government

Mbeki: Social compact the answer to promises made in ANC...

Former president Thabo Mbeki urged business and government and society to work together to tackle issues such as poverty, unemployment and poor services and infrastructure
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×