Politics: ANC suspends contentious renaming of Mangosuthu Highway

2008-09-02 00:00

THE provincial leadership of the ANC has put on hold plans to rename Mangosuthu Highway in Umlazi in Durban.

The party’s provincial executive committee (PEC) decided on Monday to wait, pending discussions with the IFP.

The IFP has long been opposed to the renaming of the highway after murdered ANC activist Griffiths Mxenge. The proposal soured relations between the two parties.

The ANC said it is now extending an olive branch to the IFP, ahead of next year’s general elections.

Provincial secretary Senzo Mchunu said in a statement that relations between the parties are “stable”.

The IFP feels that renaming the road is one of the attempts by the ANC-led eThekwini Municipality to “airbrush” party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi out of history.

Contacted by The Witness yesterday, Thembi Nzuza, the leader of the IFP caucus in eThekwini, said her party was not aware of the ANC’s decision.

“I do not understand why they [the ANC] would go to the media first without talking to us when we are negotiating with them. Maybe they saw that it suits their political timing.”

Nzuza said the IFP remains opposed to the whole process of street renaming.

“We will not fall into the ditch of saying now everything is all right now that the renaming of Mangosuthu has been put on hold. We as the IFP were not only opposed to the renaming of this particular highway, but have been opposed to the whole street renaming process and the flawed processes that were undertaken.”

The IFP has in the past said there was no proper consultation on street renaming process.

Some of the recent name changes have been met with stiff opposition. Recently, a number of street signs bearing the new names were vandalised by irate residents.

bmbanjwa@witness.co.za

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