Amafa ‘upholding imperialist legacy’

2011-10-13 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL heritage custodians Amafa KwaZulu-Natal Heritage came under heavy attack from the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa), accused of preserving an imperialist legacy and of a lack of gender transformation in its ranks “which are still dominated by white males and no women”.

KZN Scopa chairperson Makhosi Khoza criticised Amafa for its alleged failure to preserve indigenous heritage while concentrating on preserving the heritage of the “imperialists”.

Although Amafa, which falls under the Office of the Premier, received an unqualified audit opinion from the Auditor-General, it was called to appear before Scopa to clarify material corrections related to creating provision for bonus payments, which was never done in the past.

Outlining her concerns, Khoza cited the spelling on King Shaka’s commemoration stone in KwaDukuza (Stanger), which is spelt “Tshaka” and said nothing is being done by the heritage custodians to have it corrected.

She said she had gone through the streets of KwaDukuza and counted about seven misspellings of King Shaka’s name, which could have been perpetuated by the fact that nothing was being done to correct the misspelling on the tombstone.

“You must preserve the reality and do not apply the imperialistic approach when preserving our history.

“For instance, history is depicted in how we were defeated and not how we were victorious in the Battle of Isandlwana.

“It’s more about the preservation of the history of colonialists …” she added.

Khoza said the transformation agenda of Amafa also needs to come under scrutiny because “most of its board and officials are predominantly white males”.

Another KZN Scopa member, Mxolisi Kaunda, proposed that the gender and race transformation of Amafa be accompanied by a generational mix because most of its board members and officials are older people.

• skhumbuzo.miya@witness.co.za

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