Office 915
Ninth Floor
Khotso House
62 Marshall Street
Johannesburg, South Africa
15 November 2013
Dear Friends and Comrades,
The Trauma Centre was founded in 1993 by the well-known clergyman, Father Michael Lapsley (who, due to a letter bomb sent by Apartheid South Africa, lost both his hands and the sight in one of his eyes). The Trauma Centre played a crucial role in South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and is arguably one of the most respected human rights trauma organisations in the country. The Trauma Centre is backed by eminent patrons including Archbishop Desmond Tutu; former South African Judge, Justice Richard Goldstone; Anglican bishop and a former Robben Island prisoner, Njongonkulu Ndungane; Chairman of the South African Institute of International Affairs and Director at Standard Bank, Fred Phaswana; anti-apartheid struggle icon, Ahmed Kathrada; and wife of Nelson Mandela, Graca Machel.
In 2007 G4S was contracted to provide and maintain Israeli prisons, torture centres and detention facilities. Although initially hinting that it intends to terminate its Israeli contracts, G4S still, to date, operates in Israel. G4S also provides equipment and services to Israeli checkpoints and illegal Jewish-only settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank. Due to this complicity with Israel, in 2012, Palestinian prisoners and prisoner support organisations called for an international boycott of G4S as part of the global Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign. Click here for more info.
Join us in appealing to local businesses, restaurants, shops, property owners, universities and other entities to drop G4S. Click here for a model letter that can be downloaded, edited and delivered to businesses and other entities (remember to communicate with us any of your successes). Click here for stickers, flyers, posters, t-shirt designs and other campaign material that you can download and make use of. "Boycott G4S" t-shirts are available for sale from BDS South Africa, contact us on 0114922414 or for more info. If you are a business or other entity that is considering cancelling your G4S contract we would be happy to answer any queries that you may have. Also, please let us know if you are a businesses or organization that has already terminated your G4S contract! Click here for campaign material and other information.
Here is a short YouTube video on how companies like G4S were targeted and boycotted during Apartheid in South Africa. A similar international isolation of Israel through the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign is currently underway. The BDS campaign seeks to hold Israel (and international companies involved in Israel) accountable to international law. In the 1980s the boycott worked against Apartheid South Africa, and its now working against Apartheid Israel. The international isolation of Israel it is hoped will lead to the necessary conditions for a just peace to be negotiated - similar to what occurred in South Africa and brought about a democratic country for all our people. Click here to watch the video.

All contributions to BDS South Africa are tax-deductible. Click here for our banking details, to make an online donation or for more information.
To join BDS South Africa's email mailing list (& receive these newsletters) send a blank email message to
After being approached by BDS South Africa, the renowned Cape Town based "Trauma Centre" has terminated its ties and contract with the controversial security company G4S. James Taylor, the Chairperson of the Trauma Centre, in an official statement posted online, explains the organisation's decision:

"The Trauma committed to creating a society free from violence and torture and committed to a culture of human rights…we therefore note with great concern the serious allegations leveled against the security company G4S of complicity in the illegal incarceration and torture of Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories…such acts would violate the very principles which form the basis of our existence as a human rights organisation. It is because of these serious concerns, which violate our fundamental values, that the Board of the Trauma Centre has decided to terminate our organisation’s relationship with G4S." Click here for the full statement by the Trauma Centre..

In the statement, Taylor also adds that the board of The Trauma Centre considered, in taking its decision to drop G4S, the recent allegations of torture at the G4S-run Mangaung correctional centre in Bloemfontein.
Welcoming the decision by The Trauma Centre, Kwara Kekana of BDS South Africa commented: "That a South African organisation with such a history and importance as the Trauma Centre has taken the principled decision to terminate relations with G4S due to the company's complicity in Israeli prisons and human rights abuses should set an example and precedent for all South African organisations, businesses, universities and other entities that have contracts with G4S. We are calling on, in particular, the Airports Company of South Africa, the South African Post Office, and the Universities of Cape Town and Stellenbosch --who all have contracts with G4S-- to immediately end their relations with the company." Click here for a statement that was issued by the ANC Youth League in the Western Cape also welcoming the Trauma Centre's decision to drop G4S.

G4S, the world largest security company, has been the target of several successful international boycott actions and campaigns in recent years due to its complicity in Israel's illegal detentions and torture of Palestinian political prisoners. The termination by The Trauma Centre is the first South African victory for the Palestinian BDS/boycott of G4S campaign (click here for further info).
According to the international activist-petition website,, G4S contracts in Israel account for only 1% of G4S’s global revenues. There is a price (reputational and other) for G4S to pay for its complicity in (and profiteering from) Israel's oppression of the Palestinians. We in the international community can make it costly for G4S for as long as it operates in Israel (see left hand column on how to take action).  
Click on the red arrows below for more information.
--------> In November 2010, the Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims (RCT) in Denmark ended its contract with G4S. Pat Nissen of RCT explaining the RCT decision said: “G4S as a company is helping to facilitate torture.”

--------> In October 2011, the Edinburgh University Student Association (EUSA) overwhelmingly passed a motion through its Student Council to block their contract with G4S in protest of G4S' involvement in "Israeli Apartheid".

--------> In January 2012, Amnesty International in Denmark terminated its contract with G4S (after initially trying to influence G4S policies). “We do not want to work with G4S because the company’s global activities do not live up to Amnesty International’s requirements in relation to human rights,” commented Amnesty International secretary Lars Normann Jørgensen.

--------> In April 2012, the European Union refused to renew its contract (service contract number 118611-2012) with G4S following concerns raised by MEPs and human right organizations (including Jews for Justice for Palestinians [JJFP] and Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods [JBIG]) about the role G4S plays in Israel in violation of international law.

European Union has declined to renew a contract with private security company G4S amidst concerns raised by MEPs and campaign groups about the role the company plays in equipping Israeli prisons in which Palestinian political prisoners are held in violation of international law.
G4S has provided security services to the buildings of the European Parliament since 2008 but the contract award notice (service contract 118611-2012) published on the EU official tenders’ website on April 13th shows that G4S hast lost its contract with the European Parliament.
- See more at:
--------> In July 2012, the general director of Danish Church Aid (DCA) announced that his organization would not renew its contract with G4S due to the company's continued activity in Israel's illegal Jewish-only settlements.

--------> In August 2012, Denmark's Merkur Bank terminated its contract with G4S. Spokesperson Karl Johnsen, said that the bank had canceled its contract “because of G4S’ s involvement in the Israeli occupation of Palestine.”

--------> In September 2012, the UK energy firm, good Energy, ditched G4S adding that “feedback from customers” was one of the reasons behind its decision.

--------> In October 2012, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights made special mention of G4S as one of the international companies that should be boycotted for their involvement in Israel. In a news release, the UN Special Rapporteur, Richard Falk, said: “My main recommendation is that the businesses highlighted in the report – as well as the many other businesses that are profiting from the Israeli settlement enterprise – should be boycotted".

--------> In November 2012, over 20 Norwegian organizations, trade unions and NGOs including Amnesty International, Norwegian People's Aid and the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) wrote an open letter to G4S calling on the company to withdraw from Israel.

--------> In December 2012, two Dutch charities refused to accept any future donations from G4S after they were informed about the company’s role in Israel’s detention of, specifically, Palestinian children.

--------> Also in December 2012, the University of Oslo voted to end its G4S contract over G4S' support for "Israeli apartheid".

--------> In January 2013, G4S was nominated by civil society organisations for the Public Eye’s "World’s Worst Company Award" due to its role in Israel's illegal detention centers, torture facilities and incarceration of Palestinian political prisoners.

--------> On the 05th of June 2013,, the global petition-site operating in over 190 countries launched an online petition against G4S (just ahead of the G4S AGM). The petition drew over 12 000 signatures within 24 hours.

--------> On the 20th of September 2013, the East London Teachers Association (ELTA) in the UK passed a motion condemning G4S’ complicity in Israel’s prison system, "unlawful detention and torture [of Palestinians]" which it termed as "profoundly unethical".

--------> On the 01st of October 2013, the Norwegian trade union, Industri Energi, ended its G4S contract as an "act of solidarity" with the Palestinians.

--------> On the 02nd of October 2013, the Grand Mufti and Imam of Jerusalem issued an official edict against G4S and called on Saudi Arabia to cancel its G4S Hajj contract.

--------> On the 06th of October 2013, South Africa's largest trade union federation, COSATU, called on the South African government to end all its contracts with G4S. In a strongly-worded statement COSATU said: "It is worrying that G4S (a British-Danish private security company that provides services and equipment to Israeli prisons, Israeli checkpoints, Israel's Apartheid Wall and the Israeli police) has now been courted by our government to milk tax payer's money in order to finance its controversial operations in the Apartheid State of Israel."

--------> On the 11th of October 2013, Dave Prentis the General Secretary of one of the UK’s largest trade unions, UNISON, called for G4S to pull out of Israel. Writing directly to G4S, Prentis said: "I understand that your [G4S] activities in Israel only account for approximately one percent of G4S profits. However, I believe that the reputational risks that these activities pose for your company are far greater [than profit]".

--------> On the 21st of October 2013, the Dutch Green Left Party (DGLP) became one of the first political parties to end its contract with G4S. The party bureau of the DGLP considered cooperation with G4S as "conflicting with its political principles"; this was communicated to G4S.

--------> On the 27th of October 2013, from South Africa's historic Robben Island, BDS South Africa singled-out G4S in its address at the "Free Marwan Barghouti and All Palestinian Political Prisoners" campaign launch with Ahmed Kathrada and others (click here for footage from a follow up Robben Island event).

--------> On the 31st of October 2013, the University of Bergen became the second Norwegian university to not to boycott G4S. Significantly, G4S presented the lowest priced offer in the security tender proposals but the Norwegian university added an estimated loss of 2,5 million NOK (R4,1 million rands/ $400 000 dollars) related to potential reputational damage that the University would suffer if they chose to award their security contract to G4S due to the involvement of G4S in Israel's illegal detention facilities, torture centers and incarceration of Palestinian political prisoners.

--------> On 06th of November 2013, the Trauma Centre in Cape Town ended its contract with G4S. Welcoming the move, COSATU, South Africa's largest trade union federation noted: "the progressive decision by the Trauma Centre to [also] use this as an opportunity to bring part of its security in-house (instead of outsourcing). This pro-worker position should be commended and sets a precedent for other businesses, companies, universities and indeed government. Security, and other services, should not be outsourced!"

Office 915 | 9th Floor | Khotso House | 62 Marshall Street | Johannesburg
PO Box 2318 | Houghton | 2041 | Johannesburg
T: +27 (0) 11 492 2414 | F: +27 (0) 86 650 4836
W: | E: |

BDS South Africa is a registered Non-Profit Organization. NPO NUMBER: 084 306 NPO
BDS South Africa is a registered Public Benefit Organisation with Section 18A status. PBO NUMBER: 930 037 446