News24

Pretoria irks Tshwane lineage

2010-03-12 17:05

Pretoria - The living descendants of King Tshwane, ruler of the BaTswana people, said on Friday they are "deeply disturbed" at the government's indecisiveness over the Pretoria name change.

"It is now almost five years that the government has been showing its indecisiveness to bring the matter to its finality," the Tshwane Royal House executive committee said in a statement.

"Up to this stage it appears as if the government thinks that Tshwane is just a figment of some historian's imagination," it said.

The renaming of Pretoria to Tshwane was recently withdrawn from the Government Gazette by Arts and Culture Minister Lulu Xingwana, who was also responsible for its drafting and submission.

Xingwana had placed a notice in the January 29 Government Gazette in connection with the registration of the Tshwane municipal area as a geographic name.

The notice was placed a day after Deputy Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile cancelled a media briefing to announce new geographic names for a number of areas in the country.

'Tiny white Afrikaner tantrums'


This was a victory for the Freedom Front Plus, which said that the decision to withdraw the announcement proved Afrikaners still held some weight.

"It seems government is so eager to (pander) to the tantrums of a tiny white Afrikaner minority at the expense of the black majority who have fought so hard for liberation against the former who used to treat them as if they were less than human," the royal committee said.

There was a need for those who believe in justice and the restoration of human dignity to stand up and let their voices be heard.

"Enough is enough... Government can't serve the oppressors and oppressed at the same time," it said.

"Government must decide whether it has the political will to restore the dignity of those previously stripped of their humanity or that it now sides with those who would like to drag the country back to the dark days of race supremacy."

The FFPlus has fought for years - alongside civil organisations such as Solidarity, AfriForum and the Federation of Afrikaans Cultural Associations - for the retention of the name of Pretoria.

The Tshwane royal house said it would convene a meeting on Saturday to discuss and find ways of "bringing government to its senses".