South Africa: 'Tens of thousands' attend Cape Town protest for Palestine

South Africa: 'Tens of thousands' attend Cape Town protest for Palestine
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Cape Town on Saturday to call for a ceasefire for Gaza, in the latest show of solidarity between Palestinians and South Africans.
2 min read
12 November, 2023
South Africa has seen numerous marches in support of the Palestinian people since 7 October [Gianluigi Guercia/AFP via Getty-archive]

A huge protest took place in the South African city of Cape Town on Saturday, in a show of solidarity with Palestine as the death toll for Israel's war on Gaza climbed above 11,000.

Local media reported an attendance of "tens of thousands" at Saturday's protest. However, crowd sizes at pro-Palestine demonstrations worldwide are often played down by media and authorities, and some estimated as many as 250,000 had taken to Cape Town's streets.

Videos purportedly taken at the demonstration showed crowds stretching as far as the eye could see.

The demonstration came on the same day as hundreds of thousands of people marched through central London to demand a ceasefire in Gaza, where some 11,100 people have been killed by Israel's air and ground onslaught since 7 October.

Right-wing politicians and organisations in the UK had claimed that holding the pro-Palestine march on Remembrance Day - marked to commemorate the loss of soldiers during the First World War - would "cause offence". UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman had earlier branded the protests calling for an end to Israel's war on Gaza as "hate marches".

As a Commonwealth state, South Africa also observes Remembrance Day on 11 November, though it is not a public holiday there.

A day earlier, South Africa had called in the ambassador of Israel to discuss his recent "unfortunate conduct relating to the unfolding, tragic Israel-Palestine war", the country's foreign ministry said in a statement

South Africa said earlier this week that it would recall its diplomats from Israel.

Black South African leaders and activists in South Africa's civil rights movement have long drawn parallels between their experiences under apartheid and the conditions of Palestinians today.

After becoming president of post-apartheid South African, Nelson Mandela said: "We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians."