The Congress of South African Students (COSAS) has joined the thong of activists protesting against Grammy award winning US artist Pharrell Williams for collaborating with local retail group Woolworths which is under attack for allegedly trading with Israel.
In an open letter to the US rapper‚ COSAS said it had urged him “to be on the right side of history and join an increasing chorus of international artists who support the Palestinian fight against Israeli injustice and oppression”.
Yet‚ it charged‚ he had still decided to come to South Africa as a guest of the Woolworths “knowing how angry South Africans are at your complicity through Woolworths in the erasure of Palestinian human rights and dignity”.
“As an international pop artist‚ you had been the role model for many youngsters here in South Africa. But now‚ this image is in radical contradiction with your behaviour‚” the student organisation asserted.
COSAS added that it would be joining a protest planned by the Boycott‚ Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) to take place on September 21 at Grand West Casino in Cape Town where Williams is scheduled to give a concert.
The student organisation said it was ironic that while the US singer’s collaboration with Woolworths was “supposed to raise funds for education” in South Africa‚ COSAS‚ “the largest school learner organisation in this country‚ will be outside protesting against you and your Woolworths collaboration”.
“Let us be clear: the life of Palestinian children and the life of South African children are equally important to us‚” COSAS said in the open letter to Williams.