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