‘Whatever outcome, I salute SA’: Thuli Madonsela on case against Israel before ICJ ruling

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela says she is proud of the South African government for fighting for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war. File photo.
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela says she is proud of the South African government for fighting for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war. File photo.

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela, who exposed corruption in the government during her tenure, is proud of the South African government and its legal team for challenging Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over its war against Hamas in Gaza in which thousands of civilians have died.

South Africa applied to the world court sitting in The Hague, Netherlands, on December 29 to make an order for the suspension of military operations in Gaza. The South African legal team argued that Israel committed genocide against Palestinians after the attacks by Hamas on Israel on October 7.

ICJ president judge Joan Donoghue will deliver the court’s ruling at 2pm on Friday.

Madonsela has been vocal about the effects of the war on civilians.

Whatever the outcome at [the] ICJ in the genocide case against Israel over its mass killings, mass displacement, maiming, starving of Palestinians, destroying their homes and infrastructure, I salute the government of South Africa and its lawyers for standing up for the rule of law and justice,” Madonsela said.

Veteran journalist Redi Tlhabi cautioned that whatever ruling the ICJ made, there was no guarantee there would be a ceasefire.  

“For me a moral victory and an elevation of the Palestinian cause have already been secured. Our lives are governed by multiple dictates, not just technical and legal. [The] ICJ has ruled against Israel before. There was no adherence to the ruling,” she said. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told soldiers this week he wanted “total victory”.

His tough stance seems to be prompted by criticism from leaders of Israeli opposition parties. The opposition leaders painted Netanyahu as a man sleeping on the job when Hamas fighters infiltrated and killed about 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians, on October 7. 

Netanyahu, speaking in Israel's parliament, the Knesset, on Wednesday said Israel would not surrender. He told MPs he has set the record straight to world leaders regarding his stance on the war. 

“We set goals for the war and they are robust and valid: to end Hamas' rule, return our hostages home and ensure Gaza will never again constitute a threat to Israel,” he said.

“I told the leaders of the world, 'our war is your war and our victory is your victory'. I said, 'Israel will never surrender to the murderous terrorism directed by Iran'. We will fight back against those who attacked us.” 

An opposition party leader, Yair Lapid, called Netanyahu “incompetent”.

“Anyone who asked himself if the government should be changed got an answer this evening. Yes and now. Netanyahu is incompetent,” Lapid said.

“For the fighters, for the reservists, to defeat Hamas and get back the hostages, the government must be replaced in every way.

“Israel needs a good and brave government that will bring change.”

Here are some reactions from social media: 



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