South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has said the majority of his country's people, as well as the government and the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party, support the Palestinian people's struggle for freedom.
"We are following in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela, who said to us and taught us that …our freedom will not be complete until the freedom of the Palestinians is also achieved," Ramaphosa told soccer fans at the "Football for Humanity" match between Palestine and South Africa in Cape Town on Sunday.
Ramaphosa said South Africa cannot be considered fully free unless Palestine achieves freedom.
"So we, too, are not entirely free until the Palestinians are free… we will stand by them and will struggle with them (and) that's why we went to International Court of Justice (ICJ)," he said amid loud cheers from fans at the Athlone Stadium in Cape Town.
South Africa hosted the Palestine national team in Cape Town for the Football for Humanity game, which pitted them against South Africa's Western Cape XI invitational team. The game ended with one goal scored by the hosts.
The next solidarity match, titled the "Freedom Cup," will take place at the same venue on Feb. 18.
In late 2023, South Africa filed a case at the ICJ in The Hague, accusing Israel of failing to uphold its obligations under the 1948 Genocide Convention.
In its interim ruling in January, the top UN court found South Africa's claims plausible. It ordered Israel's government to cease genocidal acts and to take steps to ensure that civilians in Gaza receive humanitarian assistance.