TMF Tribute to Saeb Erekat
The TMF would like to join millions throughout the world in mourning the passing of the Palestinian liberation fighter and long-time Chief Negotiator, Saeb Muhammad Salih Erekat.
Erekat was a principled and committed fighter for the just cause of the Palestine people’s right to self-determination and justice. From an early age, he immersed himself entirely to the Palestinian struggle and all the oppressed peoples of the world. Thus he believed the struggle of the people of South Africa and the Palestinians are indivisible.
He played a pivotal role in ensuring that the ANC and the PLO established diplomatic relations and made an invaluable contribution to the ANCs efforts to develop relations and seek support from the Arab countries.
During the Democratic dispensation, Erekat visited South Africa frequently to meet with the ANC and the government consistently to advance the case for opportunities and challenges facing the Palestinian people and their struggle. He was instrumental that the PLO established an embassy in South Africa and the South African government opening an embassy in East Jerusalem.
As we remember, mourn and celebrate the life of this outstanding internationalist and principled fighter for the just cause of the Palestinian people, we note that his passing comes at a time when individuals of his caliber are in short supply.
The Patron of the TMF, President Thabo Mbeki, the Board and the staff would like to convey their deepest condolences to the Erekat family and the sister people of Palestine.
May Saeb Erekat’s soul rest in eternal peace!
Issued by the Thabo Mbeki Foundation
12 November 2020
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