South Africa’s Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola, has said his government is “determined to see the end of the genocide that is currently taking place in Gaza.”
In a statement on Tuesday, Lamola said “We are most encouraged by leaders of the world who have not blunted their consciousness and have stood on the right side of history by supporting a case that seeks to protect the rights of human beings, regardless of their nationality or ethnicity.”
The ICJ will hold its first public hearing on January 11 in The Hague, to consider the lawsuit filed by South Africa against Israel accusing it of crimes of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.
In a statement, the ICJ said that South Africa, in its request, “asks the Court to indicate provisional measures in order to “protect against further, severe and irreparable harm to the rights of the Palestinian people under the Genocide Convention” and “to ensure Israel’s compliance with its obligations under the Genocide Convention not to engage in genocide, and to prevent and to punish genocide.”
Case Endorsed by Other Countries, Organizations
So far, South Africa’s legal action has been officially endorsed by Turkiye, Malaysia, Jordan, Bolivia, The Maldives, Namibia, Pakistan, and Venezuela. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), composed of 57 member states, has also announced its endorsement of the case.
More than 1,000 popular movements, political parties, unions, and other organizations around the world have also expressed support for South Africa’s case.
In a joint statement, the organizations urged “other countries to reinforce this strongly worded and well-argued complaint by immediately filing a Declaration of Intervention with the ICJ, also called the World Court.”
Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, said on Wednesday that South Africa’s petition is “baseless, full of lies and slander” and is only “serving the Hamas terrorists.” Meanwhile, US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, reportedly said “The charge of genocide is meritless.”
South Africa will present its case on Thursday, while Israel’s counterargument will be heard the following day.
The South African delegation is composed of distinguished diplomats and officials from the country, including the Director General in the Presidency, Phindile Baleni.
The delegation will be joined by senior political figures from “progressive political parties and movements across the globe” including Jeremy Corbyn, the former leader of the opposition Labour Party in the UK.
To understand the intricacies of this case, and its possible legal and political repercussions on the ongoing Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, the Palestine Chronicle spoke to Dr. Triestino Mariniello, Professor of Law at Liverpool John Moores University, and a member of the legal team for Gaza victims at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The hearing will be streamed live and on demand in the two official languages of the court, English and French, on the court’s website and on UN Web TV.
According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 23,357 Palestinians have been killed, and 59,410 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.
Palestinian and international estimates say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.
(The Palestine Chronicle)
Disclaimer: South Africa Determined to Stop Israel’s Gaza Genocide’ – Justice Minister - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view