Activist’s tears of disillusionment

2014-05-08 00:00

LEGENDARY anti-apartheid activist Morris Fynn started crying when The Witness asked to accompany him to the polls yesterday.

The 84-year-old is remembered as the man who sawed down apartheid “Whites Only” and “Coloureds Only” signs on Durban’s beachfront in the late eighties.

He said the problem was that he has been an ANC member all his life — but he chose not to vote yesterday.

His decision follows a meeting in Wentworth three weeks ago, which he walked out of because he says President Jacob Zuma had insulted “the so-called coloureds … We never chose to be called coloured, if you call me a coloured you call me a k****r by another name.”

He is a leader of the Fynn clan of the South Coast, many of whom were forcibly moved to Wentworth by the apartheid government.

“Ninety-nine percent of the people of Wentworth are Fynns one way or another,” he says.

He has been struggling since 1994 to get the government to recognise their land claim on the South Coast and his role as a traditional leader.

“Mandela said those things we lost through race classification and the Group Areas Act would be restored. We lost our land and our traditional leadership … It should have been as easy as signing off a few documents,” says Fynn, adding the first KwaZulu-Natal provincial government, led by the Inkatha Freedom Party, told him they could not grant his land claim because he was an ANC member.

He says he still believes in the founding values of the ANC, which were based on “humanity” and non-racialism, but the party seemed to him to only be catering for “blacks” these days. He cannot contemplate voting for another party.

He said the family met recently and have decided to raise funds to fight the government in court for the land claim and his rights as a traditional leader.

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