Nelson Mandela’s Grandson Calls for the Liberation of Palestine

Grandson of the late South African leader Nelson Mandela, Zwelivelile Mandla Mandela. (Photo; Screenshot/Twitter)

Algiers, MINA – The grandson of the late South African leader Nelson Mandela, Zwelivelile Mandla Mandela, called for the liberation of Palestine in his speech at the opening of the 2022 African National Football Championship (CHAN) in Algeria on Friday.

Speaking from a stadium in the capital named after his grandfather, Mandela gave a fiery speech chanting “Free Palestine.” This was quoted from New Arab on Monday.

“Let’s… remember that Madiba [name given to Nelson Mandela] said our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of Palestine, therefore we stand together to fight for the liberation of Palestine,” he said.

“From the river to the sea, liberate Palestine,” he shouted, to the roar of the crowd in the stadium.

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Before mentioning Palestine, Zwelivelile also called for the liberation of “oppressed” Western Sahara, which Morocco and the Algerian-backed pro-independence Polisario Front have disputed for decades.

“We said, in honor of him [Nelson Mandela], don’t forget Africa’s last colony, Western Sahara, let’s fight to liberate Western Sahara from oppression,” he said.

Morocco controls about 80 percent of the desert area, while the Polisario Front is based in the Algerian city of Tindouf controlling marginal areas of Western Sahara.

Algeria closed its airspace to all Moroccan flights in September 2021, a month after cutting diplomatic ties with Morocco, accusing it of “hostile acts”.

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It was the latest escalation in long-running tensions fueled by the Western Sahara dispute and Morocco’s normalization of relations with Israel.

Morocco withdrew from the CHAN tournament as hosts Algeria refused to let the team fly directly from Rabat, not least the 2021 ban. Morocco, two-time CHAN cup winners “regret” the decision to let politics get in the way of the sport.

Apart from the Algerian capital, matches will last until February 4 in three other major Algerian cities, Oran, Constantine and Annaba. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)