FF+ wants both old and new road names in City of Tsh­wane

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - TANKISO MAKHETHA

AFRIKAN­ERS want the her­itage of all South Africans to be re­spected by dis­play­ing both old and new street names.

This, ac­cord­ing to Free­dom Front Plus (FF+) MPL Philip van Staden, would recog­nise the shared his­tory.

The Con­sti­tu­tional Court ruled this week that new Pre­to­ria street names should stay for now.

How­ever, it would be up to a High Court re­view to de­ter­mine if the City of Tsh­wane was thor­ough in its pub­lic con­sul­ta­tions and cor­rect in im­ple­ment­ing the changes.

The High Court in Pre­to­ria has yet to set the date for the re­view ap­pli­ca­tion by AfriFo­rum.

The Con­sti­tu­tional Court be­rated the civil rights or­gan­i­sa­tion for the le­gal strate­gies used to pre­vent the name changes.

In a scathing judg­ment, it found that AfriFo­rum’s ear­lier le­gal bid, cit­ing sup­posed Afrikaner hurt, was in­sen­si­tive, di­vi­sive and in con­flict with the ideal of na­tional unity.

“It is di­vi­sive, some­what self­ish and does not seem to have much re­gard for the cen­turies- old de­pri­va­tion of a sense of place and sense of be­long­ing black peo­ple have had to en­dure,” Chief Jus­tice Mo­go­eng Mo­go­eng said in the judg­ment.

De­scrib­ing the propo­si­tion as mind- bog­gling, Jus­tice Mo­go­eng in­sisted the op­po­si­tion to re­plac­ing the names of streets linked to other racial groups left lit­tle room for the ac­cep­tance of black peo­ple as fel­low hu­man be­ings.

How­ever, Van Staden was crit­i­cal of the rul­ing, say­ing it would open a door to get rid of Afrikaner his­tory.

He said Afrikan­ers wanted the her­itage of all South Africans to be re­spected by dis­play­ing both old and new street names.

He said the party was the only op­po­si­tion against the chang­ing of 25 street names dur­ing a Tsh­wane coun­cil meet­ing in March 2012, when the de­ci­sion was ap­proved.

“The Pre­to­ria tax­payer has al­ready paid R27 mil­lion for ANC ac­tions con­cern­ing the chang­ing of street names in the city. We can’t af­ford to spend money on triv­i­al­i­ties. Money should rather be used to up­grade the in­fras­truc­ture,” he said.

“We are sad­dened by this rul­ing and feel that a door has now been opened to get rid of Afrikaner his­tory.”

The SA Na­tional Civic Or­gan­i­sa­tion (Sanco) said it wel­comed the judg­ment as a land­mark rul­ing that should be used to ad­vance na­tion-build­ing and so­cial co­he­sion.

“It will en­trench trans­for­ma­tion, broaden cel­e­bra­tion of dif­fer­ent cul­tures and the her­itage that makes up the sum to­tal of the South African his­tory,” na­tional spokesman Jabu Mahlangu said.

“Tsh­wane is not an Afrikaner city, but a city for all its res­i­dents,” he said.

Chief Jus­tice Mo­go­eng had noted AfriFo­rum’s ar­gu­ments that the loss of the old street names – even tem­po­rar­ily pend­ing the re­view process – would sup­pos­edly cause great emo­tional hurt to Afrikan­ers.

He said, how­ever, the or­gan­i­sa­tion did not have the right to have the old street names dis­played in per­pe­tu­ity.

He said its only right was to par­tic­i­pate mean­ing­fully in a prop­erly fa­cil­i­tated process lead­ing up to the change of street names.


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