COSATU Statement on the Orlando Pirates game against Maccabi Tel Aviv 

13 July 2023

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) joins the rest of the world in the attempts to persuade Orlando Pirates to stand firmly on the side of the oppressed people of Palestine during their struggle against apartheid. With its impeccable credentials in the game of football and history under its belt, Pirates should use this very position to send a message that apartheid is not a game, it’s a crime.

The Federation reaffirms its unwavering respect for soccer as a sport that builds friendships and bridges that unite people across race, colour and regions, but remains steadfast in its firm commitment to ensuring that apartheid, racism, occupation, colonialism and all forms of oppression and subjugation are not promoted in the name of the beautiful game and those who enjoy and follow it.

Towards this end, COSATU appeals to Pirates fans, players, management and all football lovers to refuse the blackmail, bribery and attempt to legitimise apartheid by using the good name of the mighty Buccaneers to sanitise the racist agenda of the apartheid state of Israel and its cruel occupation of Palestine.

We should not turn a blind eye and behave as if it’s business as usual when the brazen realities of the people of Palestine are staring the entire international community in the face. Racism is a crime against humanity and should be condemned by all instead of being embraced and tolerated.

Workers stand ready to work with all who are fighting to end apartheid, racism and occupation, because they know the pain and suffering caused by these evils.

Issued by COSATU

Bongani Masuku(COSATU International Secretary)
Cell:079 499 6419