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South African president condemns Gaza crisis as genocidal, calls for ceasefire

President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa speaks during a welcome ceremony at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on November 2, 2023, after South Africa won the France 2023 Rugby   -  
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South Africa

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has strongly condemned the ongoing crisis in Gaza, describing it as a "genocidal onslaught and slaughter of the people of Palestine." 

In a press statement, he drew parallels between the struggles faced by Palestinians and those experienced by South Africans during their own tumultuous history.

"As we have looked at the sufferings of the Palestinians, we have seen similar features of what the Palestinians are going through as what we, as South Africans, went through," President Ramaphosa expressed.

Ramaphosa continued, asserting the gravity of the situation unfolding in Gaza. "What is unfolding now, in Gaza, is beyond being unjust. It is genocidal, and that is why we are dubbing it as a genocide against a people and a collective punishment against innocent people," he declared.

In response to the dire circumstances, President Ramaphosa called for an immediate ceasefire. He emphasized the urgency of halting what he perceives as a genocidal onslaught, expressing the collective responsibility to prevent further suffering. 

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In a previous stern message, the South African government had issued a warning to its citizens involved or contemplating involvement in the conflict in Gaza.

The South African foreign ministry expressed deep concern over reports that some of its nationals may have joined the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) to fight in Gaza. The ministry emphasized that such actions could potentially lead to the violation of international law, making those involved liable for prosecution in South Africa. The State Security Agency (SSA) is reportedly actively tracking down individuals involved in this activity.

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