Prominent South African university boycotts Israeli regime


“The Council of the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) has resolved that TUT will not forge any ties with Israel or any of its organizations and institutions,” TUT spokesman on the issue Professor Rasigan Maharajh said on Wednesday.

A December 7 press release from TUT stated “As a progressive university in a democratic South Africa, we want to affirm that TUT will not sign any agreements or enter into scientific partnerships until such time that Israel ends its illegal occupation of Palestinian territory.

“The university will not stand back and accept the violations of the Israeli regime when it confines the movement of Palestinian children and youth on their own land and restricts their ability to access education through destroying their schools,” added the statement.

TUT’s press release followed a Council Resolution on November 24 which incorporated discussions and debates in various faculties, the Senate and its Institutional Forum.

Prior to the November Resolution, a TUT position paper in May on ties with Israel was formulated. Maharajh was one of the authors.

“As a ‘peoples university’, TUT is enjoined with the University of Johannesburg, and progressive Palestinian and Israeli academics in further encouraging the international community to comprehensively and consistently boycott all academic institutions in Israel as a contribution to the struggle to end Israel’s illegal occupation and system of apartheid,” said Maharajh.

One of the issues to be discussed at the ruling African National Congress’s forthcoming 54th National Conference in Gauteng, from December 16 to 20, is the possible downgrading, or even closure, of the South African Embassy in Tel Aviv.

“As a constitutional democracy premised on the recognition of human rights, the Republic of South Africa must urgently discuss downgrading the status of its relationship with Israel,” said Maharajh.

“The announcement by the Trump regime of its intentions to establish its embassy in al-Quds (Jerusalem) further escalates tensions,” said Maharajh told African News Agency.

“As guided by the founding President of the post-apartheid South Africa, Nelson Mandela, who declared that: ‘We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians’, the Republic of South Africa must also condemn the actions of the Trump regime and work harder at fostering solidarity and cooperation with the peoples of Palestine.”