Media Review Network -Press Release | 3 April 2014
The Media Review Network (MRN) welcomes the meeting between the Government, the African National Congress (ANC) and the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC), held on Saturday 29th March 2014 at the MJC offices in Cape Town.
This follows reports in the Egyptian media, in late February, which indicated that a South African government delegation led by Minister of State Security, Mr Siyabonga Cwele, met with the illegal military regime in Egypt.
South African Muslims were alarmed at reports which implied that coup leader, General Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, received approval from Minister Cwele for a number of requests.
These included a call to outlaw the Muslim Brotherhood by denying its members any opportunity to operate in South Africa.
In an open letter to the Department of International Relations (DIRCO) and the Presidency, the Media Review Network expressed our concerns at this development.
We are therefore pleased that a number of our concerns were raised by the Muslim Judicial Council during its recent meeting.
The MJC delegation was led by its president, Moulana Ighsaan Hendricks, who was accompanied by Sheik Riad Fataar, Sheik Ihsaan Taliep, Moulana Abdul Khaliq Allie and Sheik Ebrahim Gabriels.
The ANC and government delegation included Mr Gwede Mantashe, Ms Jesse Duarte, Dr Zwele Nkhize and the Minister of State Security, Mr Siyabonga Cwele.
We acknowledge the assurances provided by government that its position vis a vis the military coup and the installation of the illegal regime in Cairo remains unchanged.
The assurances given included amongst others that Egypt’s suspension from the AU remains; that South Africa does not subscribe to undemocratic changes to elected governments; and that the rule of law and democracy must be restored in Egypt.
The MRN, however, believes that in the interest of transparency, government has an obligation to explain the purpose and reason for Minister Cwele’s visit.
We therefore urge DIRCO to urgently address this specific area of concern especially in the light of recent absurd trials that have sentenced hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood opponents of the military coup to death.
Shoks Mnisi Mzolo – Cii News | 01 April 2014/30 Jumadal Ula 1435
The effects of “machine gun” and “iron fist” rule in the wake of last
July’s military coup d’état that toppled Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s first
democratically-elected president, continue to be wreak havoc. Since July,
the coup regime has entrenched itself while suppressing the pro-Morsi and
anti-coup bloc. Last week, 529 activists were in Minya, southern Egypt,
sentenced to death. Barely days later, also in Minya, nearly 1000 people
were ordered to stand trial on a host of charges.
Notwithstanding what he terms a “ruthless dictator”, a reference to army
chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi – whose junta replaced Morsi – March for Justice
chairperson Prof Nidal Sakr said ordinary people remained “resolute” to
restore democracy. An increasing majority is defecting from being
anti-Muslim Brotherhood to being anti-military and anti-Sisi.
“As we learnt from January 25 revolution, and we’ve learnt in the case of
South Africa and the all the free people around of the world, the will of
the people ultimately prevails over any machine guns, over any iron fist.
We don’t care what the court does, we don’t care what Sisi has on his
mind,” Sakr told Sabahul Khair on Monday, shortly after Egypt’s electoral
authority announced that this nation will go to the polls at the end of
May. Sisi has subsequently announced he would run for president.
Sakr, one of the 529 people condemned to death last week, said his
countrymen are now set to take “matters into their own hands” and expressed
his confidence of victory.
The professor dismissed the upcoming poll as a ploy to legitimize the coup
administration – sympathetic to the fallen Hosni Mubarak who ruled Egypt
for 30 years. Egyptians, Sakr said, were committed to determining their own
route back to to a people’s rule and continued to reject moves to “steal
our democracy” including Sisi’s candidacy. “Within minutes from his
theatric announcement of (vying for presidency) people took to the
streets,” Sakr told Cii, adding that Egypt witnessed its largest
demonstration since Raaba – a massacre that claimed scores of those
belonging to the anti-coup movement.
While the March for Justice continues to mobilize the global community,
locals are making their presence on social media felt. “On the social
networks media there has been an intense campaign t to expose the coup, the
failure, the scandals, the corruption of this ruthless dictator,” Sakr said
before alluding to the anti-coup’s Twitter runaway success recorded over
the weekend in the wake of the military man’s candidacy.”This hashtag
actually took the world by surprise when it actually reached the top
hashtag worldwide in less than 48 hours.”
Clearly undeterred by the regime’s crackdown, Rabaa has entered a new
phase, the professor told Cii listeners. While the coup regime is
constantly cranking up the heat, to silence dissenting voices, Sakr,
popular sentiment in Egypt has swung in March for Justice’s favour
“We the people have changed the terms of the game because now we’re not
only targeting Sisi, we’re targeting the entire coup system that made the
fall of our democracy possible. Don’t forget that they tried to do the same
thing in Turkey… The outcome of the elections in Turkey is a huge defeat to
this coup system, this coup regime – be it the US, Gulf States, Saudi
Arabia, UAE, and so forth, be it Israel as a key partner in this whole
plot. This is a major blow,” said Sakr. “Turkey for them has been a key
player in their plot for a while to defeat democracy in the entire region.”
For the professor, at the crux of the ongoing conflict is Arab oil but with
certain dynamics changing – including the United States’ reduced reliance
for oil on the Middle East – a “very major transition” is likely in another
two years or so.
As for the next phase of the anti-coup movement, Sakr is of the view that
“Egyptian people will take matters into their own hands and will prevail
when Allah decides that the time is right,” he said. “I believe, actually,
that this plot against the Egyptian people and their freedom is going to
have a very high price to pay. And all those involved against the will of
the people, the US will realize too late that the puppets they relied on in
terms of planning the coup are not as reliable and are not as strong and
are not as stable as the US wished they would be.