Motlanthe backs De Klerk Boulevard

2015-02-03 17:00

Former president Kgalema Motlanthe spoke out in support of Table Bay Boulevard being renamed after his counterpart FW de Klerk, after struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada said he had no objection to the change.

“What Uncle Kathy has done is the right thing to do,” Motlanthe told a conference today. It was hosted by the FW de Klerk Foundation to mark the 25th anniversary of his announcement that the apartheid government would unban the ANC and free Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners.

Had his view been canvassed, he added: “I would have expressed approval for the naming of Table Bay Boulevard after former President FW de Klerk.”

Asked about Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich’s opposition to the project, Motlanthe said the trade unionist and city councillor had a right to express his views as all South Africans had in the interest of free speech.

He said it was not necessary to counter every controversial statement in free-flowing public debate with a repudiation, and it would be a step in the direction of censorship to suppress such remarks.

“People like Tony Ehrenreich must be granted the space to express themselves,” he said.

“If they are wrong, they are wrong.”

Ehrenreich last month said the Cape Town city council was wrongly dividing honours equally between Mandela and De Klerk, as the former was a liberator and the latter “an architect of apartheid”.

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