South Africa Trade Unions threaten France for apology

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A member South Africa’s Young Communist League was sent back to South Africa from France as he arrived in the French capital to attend a youth conference in the Basque country, the organisation has said.

In a statement, Malefo Mosimanyane, a national committee and national
working committee member the organasations says he was detained and
interrogated for nine hours at the Paris International Airport, Charles De Gaule, before being sent back to South Africa.

It claims that his detention and subsequent deportation was “apparently for anti-terrorism reasons”. YCLSA spokesperson Castro Ngobese said in a statement “Mosimanyane was en route to the Basque country to attend a youth conference as part of our international solidarity efforts of fostering dialogue and a peaceful settlement for the independence and self determination of Basque,”

He said the league was “flabbergasted and disgusted” by the actions of the French authorities. “We demand an apology from the French authorities.”
Ngobese said if an apology was not forthcoming, the league would lobby the South African government to “reconsider” its bilateral relations with France.

Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) International Relations secretary Bongani Masuku said his organisation would support the YCL with further action if an apology from French authorities was not forthcoming.

“Young people, like all others, have the legitimate right to associate and participate in international events of their counterparts wherever they are, without the frustration of such humiliation”.

He said the reason of terrorism allegedly given for the deportation was “flimsy”. “The pretext and cover of terrorism seek to hide the real issues
involved here.”

Cosatu said they believed the people of Basque were involved in a legitimate struggle for independence that was being denied by Spanish and French authorities, said Masuku.

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