Opposition to US President Barack Obama's visit to South Africa will intensify next week. A coalition of nine organizations, led by Cosatu and the SACP, have rejected the visit. They argue that Obama failed to implement the change he promised the world when he became the first black President of the US.
Phutas Tseki of Cosatu says: "When President Obama was ushered into the world there was a promise for change of policy like the closure of the Guantanamo Bay, and how he is going to respond to the dispute between Israel and Palestine. The anger is that, now he is on his second term and he continues to be arrogant and his policies continue to entrench American power to the whole globe without any change."
The Muslim Lawyers Association has launched an urgent application with the Pretoria High Court. They want the NPA to investigate President Obama when he arrives here next week.
Yosha Tayob of the Muslim Lawyers Association says: "The decision by the NDPP and the SAPS is that they won’t investigate him and we say, in terms of the Rome statutes, they must. But in terms of their interpretation they say they don’t have to."
President Jacob Zuma told the SABC on Saturday that while detractors had the democratic right to protest, he urged they take place within the limits of the law
The "Nobama" coalition denies its campaign is a religious battle between the Muslim world and the US.South Africa and America have long standing cordial political and trade relations.
Nehawu President, Mzwandile Makwayiba says: "There is no way that we going to abandon them because we were together with them in the struggle. We can’t abandon them just because today we fear that we will be told that we are sucked in the religious struggle of muslims."
US Embassy spokesperson, Jack Hillmeyer, says they are aware of the opposition and accept them part of freedom of speech.
The University of Johannesburg, meanwhile, says it has not finalised a decision on whether to confer an honorary doctorate on Obama. The US president will engage with youth from South Africa and Africa at UJ's Soweto campus next Saturday. That's where one of the protests is scheduled to take place.
There will be another in Pretoria on Friday.
President Jacob Zuma told the SABC on Saturday that while detractors had the democratic right to protest, he urged they take place within the limits of the law. Zuma will hold one-on-one talks with Obama aimed at improving economic and political ties.