The Media Review Network South Africa, DIRCO, the families, friends and loved ones of the brave 19 would like to welcome the team back home. The journey to the Gaza strip embarked upon by these South Africans has become an important reminder of the adversity, difficulties and challenges faced by the Gazan population on a daily basis. The feeling of being trapped for a few days was but a microcosm of suffering endured by the Palestinian people. This ordeal has only reaffirmed the commitment of not only the delegation but all activists and people of conscience, to strive for the liberation of Palestine and for the principles of truth, justice, freedom and dignity to prevail.
On behalf of the delegation, their families and the Media Review Network South Africa, we would like to thank the Department of International Relations and Co Operation (DIRCO) for their speedy response, support and efforts in securing the safe return of the delegation.
We thank all those who supported the delegation with their messages of support, prayers and tweets. Your support provided strength and courage in the most bleak of moments.
This trip was a success, by the will of the Creator and the assistance of so many who worked tirelessly in the background. The aims of giving moral support to an abandoned people, breaking an illegal siege and distributing aid were indeed achieved.
No doubt can be left in one’s mind as to the brutality and inhumane nature of the blockade that engulfs the Gaza strip. As the delegation embrace their families, friends and loved ones; the memories of those left behind in Gaza weigh heavily on their hearts. The 1.8 million souls languishing in the largest open air prison in the world with only a few hours of electricity, food insecurity and the lack of water fit for human consumption is reminder that the journey is not complete until their freedom is achieved.
As the faces of the Gazan children are fondly remembered, the pain and sorrow of witnessing the burial of three (3) year old Hala murdered by Israeli aggression remains fresh in their minds.
But there is hope. This delegation has become a symbol of resistance against occupation and a personification of justice. They have broken the siege and reminded the people of Gaza that there is a country and a people who have not forgotten them; who stand with them and will never abandon them. Madiba’s greatest struggle was to restore dignity to our people. This delegation has taken that step towards the restoration of dignity for the Palestinian people by breaking the illegal, inhumane and brutal siege.
The courage, commitment and relentless pursuit of justice have become the defining characteristics of this delegation.
To them we say… Welcome home
Zaakir Ahmed Mayet
Chairman of the Media Review Network
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