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Manamela joins Blair protest

A group of demonstrators gathered outside the summit to protest against EX-British PM Tony Blair.

Al Jama-ah protests outside the Sandton Convention Centre against former British Prime Minister Tony Blair during the 2012 2012 Discovery Invest Leadership Summit. The group wants Blair to be tried for his support of the US invasion of Iraq. Picture: Tumisang Ndlovu/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - A group of protesters gathered outside the Sandton Convention Centre on Thursday to protest against former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The politician addressed delegates at the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit.

Blair’s attendance at the summit sparked controversy, with Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu withdrawing from the event. 

In a statement released on Tuesday, Tutu said he could not share a platform because Blair’s support for the Iraq war was “morally indefensible”.

Thursday’s demonstration was led by Muslim group Al Jama-ah.

Demonstrators claim Blair was complicit in the murder of thousands of people and should face war crime charges at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Young Communist League (YCL) national secretary Buti Manamela joined demonstrators in calling for a boycott of the summit.

He believes all peace-loving South Africans should join the protest.

Manamela praised Tutu for withdrawing from the summit.

(Edited by Zethu Zulu)

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