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Apartheid symbols are part of our history.

07 January 2014, 19:37
Removing apartheid symbols, the renaming of streets and towns is a hot potato in our new democratic dispensation, and understandably so.My take on this issue: yes let's rename some streets and towns, but let's maintain a considered balance. 
We can't just obliterate or sanitise our country's history by removing all the symbols that remind us where we come from as a nation. We can't remove everything that reminds us of the road we have travelled.

In fact some of the apartheid symbols should be preserved to remind us and our children what the struggle for our liberation was all about.

Example: when I tell my not so young children that there was a time when we could not just enter the Spur and have a family meal, they laugh at me. They think I'm joking.

When I tell these same boys that there was a time when we could only drive past the beaches in the Strand and Eastern Beach, and they cried for me to stop and let them take a dip, and I told them we couldn't, they can't remember.

So I say, lets' not rename everything. Let's preserve some of these symbols, so that it becomes an ever present reminder of where not to go back to. How not to treat other human beings.

In fact I would only be too happy driving up and down Hendrik Verwoerd Rylaan in the new Democratic South Africa.
In my mind doing so makes Oom Hendrik eat humble pie.

To remove his name from the streets and the buildings is like removing Oom Hendrik from witnessing everything that he tried to prevent us from becoming.

We must never forget where we come from, and we must never allow Oom Hendrik, even in the life hereafter, not to witness how far we've come as a nation.

One of our favourite struggle songs was "We shall overcome".

Oom Hendrik must be kept on the streets of South Africa for him to see that we have overcome.
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