[14 July 2015]
SASCO has noted with great concern the attempts by the Zionist lobby to wage a counter offensive to our ongoing solidarity campaigns with the oppressed people of Palestine. We view the targeting of students and members of SASCO in particular as a deliberate attack on our organization in order to neutralize our rank and file membership on the impeding question of Palestine.
We have noted that some of our member and leaders have participated in what we have characterized as Israel propaganda trips. The intension of this trip is to give an unbalanced perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is an attempt to reverse the gains SASCO has made to raise the consciousness of our members and students in general. We have noted that the funders of this trip are complicit in the oppression of the Palestinian people.
SASCO has taken clear resolutions in the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Campaign against Israel up until the complete freedom of Palestine. We have further resoled on the Academic boycotts and the isolation of Israel. We view an act by some of our members to visit Israel as crossing the picket line. We believe that our position on Palestine is amongst the clearest position the organization holds as part of its international solidarity work.
It is against this background that the NEC has decided to temporarily suspend all our members who participated in this propaganda trip to Israel pending disciplinary hearing. We do so because we view this trip as having tainted the name of our organization and put it into disrepute. These members will be held before a National Disciplinary Committee and all structures are thus instructed to suspend their already initiated processes.
We wish to send a clear message to our members that as an internationalist organization, we will never accept that in our name our members contradict our standing positions. The oppression of the people of Palestine by apartheid Israel is no different if not worse than our own oppression. It would be an indictment on our part if we do not take action.
Working with BDS and PYA components we have appealed to these members not to participate in this trip. We went at pains to explain and expose the real intention of these trips, however these members decided not to listen. We even warned that disciplinary action will be muted against those who defy the instruction not to attend, yet these members and leaders ignored the organization.
Lastly we wish to state categorically that SASCO is a voluntary organization where members join and subordinate themselves to its constitution, its policies and its resolutions. Therefore we urge all our members to respect, defend and advance all decisions of the organization without exception.
For more information
Ntuthuko Makhombothi, President of SASCO
Luzuko Buku, Secretary General of SASCO