Sasco suspends three members for going on Israel trip

2015-07-16 19:07

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


'Woolworths supports an apartheid state' - BDS protester

2014-11-26 12:56

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Against Israel in South Africa protested outside of Woolworths' head offices on Wednesday in a further plea for the franchise to end imported products from Israel. Woolies conducted a tense AGM on Wednesday where shareholders and BDS representatives demanded answers. News24 Live was there. Watch. WATCH

Johannesburg - Three members of the SA Students Congress (Sasco) have been suspended for taking part in a trip to Israel, despite being warned not to.

Sasco secretary general Luzuko Buku said the trio had been advised not to go on the trip, but ignored the warning.

They would now have to explain themselves during their respective disciplinary hearings.

The trip was apparently funded by South African philanthropists.

The trio embarked on the trip as part of a delegation of 16 young leaders. They say they only accepted the offer to go on the trip if there were no conditions attached.

"We view an act by some of our members to visit Israel as crossing the picket line," said Buko. 

"We advised them against going on the trip, but they resisted."

The 16 young leaders traveled to Israel on July 4 and returned to South Africa on Saturday.

Among them were three Sasco members: A former member of the University of Johannesburg's Student Representative Council and two members of the University of the Witwatersrand's SRC and Sasco branch.

Although some of the leaders were members of Sasco, the Young Communist League of SA (YCLSA) and the African National Congress's Youth League (ANCYL), the group announced in a statement on Thursday that they had gone on the trip in their personal capacity.

"All young people who traveled to Israel and Palestine did not represent any political party on the trip. We all travelled in our personal capacity in order to learn more about the reality of the situation and understand the positions of both countries," the group said.

Those affiliated with the ANC, Sasco and YCLSA said they had been threatened by Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions South Africa (BDS SA) not to go on the trip.

Sasco stood by BDS SA, saying the students had gone on a "propaganda trip".

"The intention of this trip is to give an unbalanced perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"It is against this background that the [national executive committee] has decided to temporarily suspend all our members who participated in this propaganda trip to Israel pending a disciplinary hearing."

He said the members' actions had tainted Sasco's name and put it into disrepute.

Sasco was still verifying the membership of two others who went on the trip who were also believed to be part of the organisation.

According to the joint statement by the young leaders, they said there had been allegations that they received gifts and money, but this was incorrect.

"This trip was a success and all delegates have different opinions on this conflict as a result of our experiences with both people of Palestine and Israel and thus we are more determined that through our findings there might actually be light for a solution towards the ongoing war," they said.

They requested that they be given the space to reveal their findings from the trip, rather than being attacked.

The YCLSA and ANCYL could not immediately be reached for comment.

Read more on:    bds  |  sasco  |  israel  |  johannesburg  |  education

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.