'Mandela will be smiling,' South Africa minister says on ICJ ruling against Israel

'Mandela will be smiling,' South Africa minister says on ICJ ruling against Israel

South Africa's liberation hero Nelson Mandela "will be smiling in his grave" at the World Court order imposing emergency measures against Israel over its war in Gaza, Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said.

World Court Ruling

Minister's Perspective

In a case brought by South Africa, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Friday ordered Israel to prevent acts of genocide against the Palestinians and do more to help civilians, although it stopped short of calling for an immediate ceasefire. It has not yet ruled on the core of South Africa's case, whether genocide has occurred in Gaza. That ruling could take years.

"We believe that former President Mandela will be smiling in his grave as one of the advocates for the Genocide Convention," Lamola told Reuters on the sidelines of a gathering of the governing African National Congress party outside Johannesburg.

Historical Connection

The ANC has long defended the Palestinian cause, a relationship forged when its struggle against oppressive white-minority rule was supported by Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organisation.

It has likened Israel's actions to its struggle against apartheid, a comparison rejected by Israel, which has said South Africa's allegations of genocide are "grossly distorted" and that it makes the utmost efforts to avoid civilian casualties. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "The mere claim that Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians is not only false, it's outrageous, and the willingness of the court to even discuss this is a disgrace that will not be erased for generations."

Defending the Case

Lamola said South Africa taking the case to The Hague was an act of courage motivated by a desire to stand up for a rules-based world order. He added: "It is a victory for the international law that there could be no exceptionalism in any part of the world and Israel cannot be exempt from complying with its international obligations."