May 8, 2023 — Zwelivelile “Mandla” Mandela, an elected member of the South African National Assembly, tribal chief of the Mvezo Traditional Council, and grandson of the late Nelson Mandela, will tour the United States from May 15 to May 20, speaking in six cities, in support of solidarity with the Palestinian people. Chief Mandela will also be available in South Africa for limited times for calls by the media this week, preceding the tour.

The tour begins in Milwaukee on Monday, May 15, at 6:30 p.m., at Milwaukee’s Turner Hall, 1040 Vel R. Phillips Avenue. May 15 is the 75th anniversary of the Nakba, the brutal mass expulsion of Palestinian people from their homeland in 1948. The tour will continue in Minneapolis on May 16; Cleveland on May 17; Orange County, California on May 18; San Francisco on May 19; and Chicago on May 20.

According the Chief Mandela, “This speaking tours honors the memory of all Palestinians who suffered crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, and genocide as a result of the Nakba, now in its 75th year. With more than 400 Palestinian villages massacred and destroyed, seven million refugees in the Palestinian diaspora denied the right of return, and thousands of political prisoners languishing in Apartheid Israel jails, it is time to hold those responsible to account.”

Nelson Mandela himself was a lifelong supporter of the struggle for liberation of the Palestinian people. The Palestinians were allies with South African freedom fighters in the struggle against the late South African apartheid regime. In a 1995 visit to Gaza, then-President Nelson Mandela said, “Our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinian people.”

The tour is hosted by the United States Palestine Community Network (USPCN) in partnership with the National Alliance Against Racial and Political Repression (NAARPR). As tour partner the Milwaukee chapter of NAARPR said in a statement in advance of the tour, “We stand in solidarity with the heroic people of South Africa and Palestine. The worldwide movement to free Nelson Mandela and end apartheid is proof that movements matter. Generation after generation they have resisted and fought against the ugly history of racism, apartheid, and injustice. It is our duty to fight against our government’s complicity and its never-ending support for Israeli apartheid. An injury to one is an injury to all!”

Press who are interested in attending the tour at any point should contact mandelatour@uspcn.org for arrangements. Chief Mandela will be available for limited times preceding the tour, in South Africa, this week, from 9 to 11 a.m. Eastern time (8 to 10 a.m. Central) today, Monday, May 8; Wednesday, May 10; and Thursday, May 11. Please email mandelatour@uspcn.org if interested..

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