News / Africa

Some South Africans Protest Obama Visit

President Barack Obama is seen delivering his weekly address, June 22, 2013.President Barack Obama is seen delivering his weekly address, June 22, 2013.
x
President Barack Obama is seen delivering his weekly address, June 22, 2013.
President Barack Obama is seen delivering his weekly address, June 22, 2013.
U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to touch down in South Africa within a matter of days, and his schedule includes meetings with political leaders, student groups and an honorary degree from the University of Johannesburg. There are several groups, however, calling for a boycott of Obama's visit.

When Obama arrives in Johannesburg on Friday, he should expect a sideshow beside his warm welcome by South African dignitaries.

Some South African communist groups, student organizations, Muslim groups, unions and other political organizations are planning what they hope will be large protests of Obama's visit.

The groups say they will demonstrate for the closing of Guantanamo Bay detention camp, for the stoppage of any wiretapping of emails or phone calls, and against the involvement of the U.S. in conflicts throughout the world, including Syria.

President Obama's trip to AfricaPresident Obama's trip to Africa
x
President Obama's trip to Africa
President Obama's trip to Africa
Phutas Tseki, the Gauteng Province chairman of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, said Obama has failed to keep his campaign promises.

"One of the things that we are standing up against here is the hypocrisy of the Obama administration. When Obama was elected he said to the world that he would lift the U.S. embargo on Cuba, that was not done. He said to the world he would close Guantanamo Bay. That was not done. Obama promised the world that we would be in a state of peace - that was not done. Instead, Obama administration is approving the supply of weapons to people who are not a state, to people who are not a government, such as it is happening in Syria. These are the type of actions that we are opposed to," said Tseki.

Among the activists protesting the Obama visit is Yousha Tayob, with the Muslim Lawyers Association. His group had asked prosecutors and police to arrest Obama as a war criminal on his arrival in South Africa.  Prosecutors have rejected the request, which the group is now appealing to a high court.

Their request for an investigation and arrest was based on the usage of Guantanamo Bay and drone strikes used to kill alleged terrorists, among other things.

"Absolutely shocking, absolutely shocking. So these are all the things we rely on in the docket and our NDPP and Police Authorities have seen fit not to even to investigate the matter," said Tayob.

The groups have three major protests planned, two on Friday and one on Saturday outside of the University of Johannesburg, which plans to bestow an honorary doctorate of law on the U.S. president.

Masete Levy of the South African Students Congress urged the university not to move forward with the plan.

"Our contention is very simple - that President Obama and the imperialist U.S. regime have consistently undermined international law and created a situation of anarchy, war and disruption of normal human life in the world." said Levy. "We think that as a university based in a country that respects democracy, human life, freedom and the general liberty of human species, the University of Johannesburg must not implicate itself as a university that respects violations of human rights and international law."
 
South Africa's Deputy International Relations Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim said Friday the protesters should be allowed to protest. But he also said this visit by a U.S. president is important for economic and political relations between the two countries.

Obama is expected to meet with key leaders, including South African President Jacob Zuma, during his three-day visit.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs