The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) welcomes the removal of Sharon Bar-Li from the African Union Summit on the 18th of February 2023 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Federation holds the view that it was a correct decision to not allow the apartheid state, Israel, to participate in the proceeding of the summit.

In 2021, we saw Israel being granted observer status by the African Union Commission to which COSATU sharply raised its concerns and condemned this decision. The decision made by Chairperson Moussa Eaki cannot be accepted as he decided to grant, the observer status without consultation. The oppression which Palestine faces as imposed by Israel has been going on for decades with Israel occupying vast Palestinian land and forcefully removing the Palestinians from their land.

Apartheid in South Africa was wrong and similarly, it is wrong for Israel to be an apartheid state and as Africans we will not tolerate any state wanting to use us to rubberstamp the human rights violations and illegal occupation it imposes on others. While the people of Palestine continue to abide by international laws on efforts to resolve the apartheid imposed on them, Israel on the other hand wantonly consistently violates such international agreements and laws.

COSATU calls on the AU to reverse the decision made to grant Israel an observer status. Furthermore, we reiterate our solidarity with the people of Palestine, and support the demand to end the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories. The colonial settler expansionism must come to an end, and we support the two-state solution based on the pre 1967 boarders.

Issued by COSATU

Sonia Mabunda-Kaziboni
International Secretary
COSATU Head Office
Tel: 011 339 4911 | Cell: 072 535 1577