The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) is disappointed that Orlando Pirates insists on playing with Maccabi Tel Aviv despite calls by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to boycott the match. Maccabi Tel Aviv is a football club from Apartheid Israel. 

Palestinians are faced with the vicious regime of Zionism, that has carried out systematic dispossession, stripping them off their lands. Like the old form of settler colonialism, this dispossession has been carried with sheer violence and brutality of Palestinians, old and infants. In recent weeks, the raid on Jenine Refuge Camp by the Israeli military has resulted in the death of 12 Palestinians. Early in January this year, about 90 Palestinians were killed when Israeli Military attacked Mosques during Ramadan. 

Orlando Pirates is disappointing to insist on not boycotting the match, especially with the historical context of the crucial role played by sport boycotts and sanctions in the liberation of South Africa from the white minority regime. It is dismaying to see a figure like Irvin Khoza, who has the benefit of the apartheid experiences and know how international organisations contributed to freeing us from the grip of apartheid, turning a blind eye to the call for boycotts. He is behaving like all business owners who are only guided by the logic of making money, with little regard to moral obligations. 

In addition to Khoza’s business driven motifs, Orlando Pirates is really taking cue from the government’s attitude. The ANC led government has not been serious about the calls for boycotts, divestments and sanctions against the Apartheid Israel. It has allowed Israel linked companies and Israel companies to acquire domestic companies, such as the transaction by Central Bottling Company that resulted in the takeover of Clover in 2019. South Africans have not reaped anything for the so 

called investments, as Clover proceeded to retrench about 2700 workers since this acquisition. 

SAFTU demands that Orlando Pirates reconsider their decision and boycott the match arranged for Thursday, 13 July 2023, with Maccabi Tel Aviv. We are calling on Orlando Pirates supporters, some of whom are our members, to pressure the bosses of their football club to boycott this match. South Africa cannot continue a relationship with a murderous regime such as Israel Apartheid, especially when countries heeded our cries during the gory days of apartheid. 

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