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

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Russia’s Prosecutor General to Review Legality of Baltics Independence

Move, announced Tuesday, has alarmed Baltic States and strained even further their increasingly tense ties with Moscow More

US Urged to Keep Up Pressure on Cuba Rights

Communist government continues to hold dozens of political prisoners, tightly restricts freedom of expression, uses threats, intimidation to discourage critics, according to activist groups 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.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs