Palestinian BNC Mourns Loss of Anti-Apartheid Icon Ahmed Kathrada

March 28, 2017, Occupied Palestine —The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) has heard with great sadness the news of Comrade Ahmed Kathrada’s passing. Mr. Kathrada, born to an Indian Muslim family, was the most prominent Asian South African in the movement to end apartheid, the system of racial discrimination, segregation and white dominance that existed in South Africa until it was defeated in 1994.

Comrade Kathrada was also an active and consistent supporter of the Palestinian struggle for freedom. He visited Palestine, and saw the apartheid system we endure for himself. He said when in Palestine: "In our short stay here we have seen and heard enough to conclude that Apartheid has been reborn here. In its reborn form it is however worse than its predecessor. Even during the worst days of Apartheid we did not have walls to divide and control people, we also did not have separate roads for separate races, and we did not have the system of checkpoints that exist here."

The Foundation which bears his name engages in activities in support of Israeli Apartheid Week, which aims to raise awareness of Israel's apartheid policies towards Palestinians. It also supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights, believing that this is the way to bring an end to Israel's apartheid policies and violations of international law. 

Kathrada’s own long imprisonment — 26 years and 3 months — alongside the anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela and his lifelong struggle against apartheid and injustice are an example to all Palestinians that integrity and perseverance will lead to justice and freedom.

The BDS movement is working to increase international civil society and government support for the Palestinian struggle for justice. We were honored to count Comrade Kathrada as a supporter of our struggle and remain inspired by his life.

We send out our condolences to his family, friends, comrades and all South Africans during these difficult days.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society. It leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. 

In the News

BDS campaigners force London Ahava shop to move

March 31, 2011
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The central London flagship store of Ahava, an Israeli cosmetics company whose products come from stolen Palestinian natural resources in the occupied West Bank, and are produced in the illegal settlement of Mitzpe Shalem, has been forced to move following a sustained cam

 

The central London flagship store of Ahava, an Israeli cosmetics company whose products come from stolen Palestinian natural resources in the occupied West Bank, and are produced in the illegal settlement of Mitzpe Shalem, has been forced to move following a sustained campaign from BDS activists.

A spokeswoman for Shaftesbury PLC, which owns the property that the shop is currently located in, told the Jewish Chronicle: "When Ahava's lease expires in September, we will not offer them a new one."

Demonstrations have been taking place outside the shop every fortnight since March 13 2010, following a call to action from the Bil’in’s Popular Committee. The first action against Ahava took place in January 2009.

The news first came to light last week during a court case resulting from the fifth successful blockade of the shop in November.

Ahava has vowed to open a new shop elsewhere in London. Campaigners have vowed to continue the campaign.

March 31, 2011
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