Protest over Potch name change
Potchefstroom - About 5 000 residents of Potchefstroom on Thursday protested against a proposal to change the town's name to Tlokwe.
The group, mainly Afrikaners, handed a memorandum to this effect to the executive mayor, Mapetlhe Mapetlhe, said Aksiegroep spokesperson Bertus le Roux.
"The mayor has promised to go through it and also ensured us that it will form part of a name change documentation that they will be handing in to the Minister of Arts and Culture Pallo Jordan."
He described their march as a very peaceful, "lively and noisy" one.
"In the Afrikaner people's culture we are not used to doing it like this... chanting slogans and singing, but it went well."
Le Roux said the group, which included members of the Freedom Front Plus and the Democratic Alliance intended to take the matter to the high court if their demands were not met.
Public participation policy
"When the council made this decision, they did not adhere to the public participation policy."
But in July this year, the council, where the ANC has a majority, said the proposed name change came about after a most of the town residents agreed on it.
Reasons were that people who lived in what is now Potchefstroom before Andries Hendrik Potgieter arrived in 1838 called the place Tlokwe.
But opposition parties rejected the council's reasons, saying that the Batlokwe tribe never even lived in Potchefstroom.
Also, the FF Plus argued that the name change disregarded the Afrikaner's history and heritage.