2 minute read
5 Sep 2014
5:56 pm

BDS not involved in Cape Town blasts

BDS South Africa is not involved in the explosion that affected a Woolworths store in Cape Town, the non-profit organisation said on Friday.

Image courtesy stock.xchnge

“The accusation that we have had any role in the explosions is absurd and we reject it in the strongest of terms,” BDS [Boycott Divestment Sanction] SA spokesman Kwara Kekana said in a statement.

“Other than condemning the malicious damage to property and possible threat to human life (which we do condemn) we see no other reason why BDS South Africa are to comment on this issue as it is un-related to us.”

Captain Frederick van Wyk said two explosions, one involving a motor dealership and the other a small business centre, occurred on Thursday night.

Kekana said the second explosion affected a nearby Woolworths store.

The organisation was believed to have been linked to the blast, as they were involved in the nationwide “#BoycottWoolworths” campaign, calling for the company to end relations with Israel.

“Pro-Israeli supporters and members of the Israeli lobby in SA are attempting to link BDS South Africa with these explosions due to one of the explosions affecting a Woolworths store,” said Kekana.

“The accusation by Israeli supporters is a cheap attempt by members of the Israeli lobby to undermine the growing #BoycottWoolworths campaign and in the process also undermine the investigative process currently underway by the state into the explosions.”

He said the campaign was “a practical, non-violent, goal-orientated, focused and strategic campaign to hold Israel accountable to international law and human rights,” and that the organisation was not involved in violence.

“The international isolation of Israel it is hoped will lead to the necessary conditions for a just peace to be negotiated — similar to what occurred in South Africa and brought about a democratic country for all our people.”

The campaign called on the company to end their entire trade relations with Israel, as they import and source Israeli products, including among others pretzels, couscous and coriander.

Woolworths was maintaining its trade with Israel and ignoring the requests by its consumers, South African civil society and several government ministers,” said Kekana.

The campaign also focused on the boycott of Woolworths stores as it “sells itself as an ‘ethical company’.”

Van Wyk said no arrests had been made in connection with the blasts, but cases of malicious damage to property were opened for investigation.

There were no reports of injuries or fatalities.

No further details were provided.

– Sapa