News24

Tshwane mindset 'must change'

2010-03-13 20:27

Pretoria - All those who are against the renaming of Pretoria to Tshwane must reconsider their position for the benefit of all, the Tshwane Royal House executive committee said on Saturday.

"We just want some finalisation on this matter... this thing has been going on for too long," said deputy chairperson, Peter Tshoane, following a executive meeting in Hammanskraal, North of Pretoria.

Tshoane criticised the Minister of Arts and Culture, Lulu Xingwana for withdrawing the name Tshwane from the Government Gazette.

"The royal house wants answers [to] why this was done without proper consultation with the Tshwane descendants," said Tshoane.

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

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

However, Tshoane said it seemed that government must decide whether it has the political will to restore the dignity of those previously stripped of their humanity, or if it would now side with those who would like to drag the country back to the dark days of race supremacy.

Seeking a way forward

In Saturday's meeting the royal house agreed to schedule another meeting for April 10 in the Pretoria City Hall, to discuss the matter further.

The meeting is expected to be attended by various organisations and the general public, with the aim of seeking a way forward.

"We are making sure that we make use of all necessary processes in order to be heard. We realise that it is not only the Tshwane Royal house that is concerned about the delay in the renaming issue.

Political parties, individuals and professionals... we all have one interest."

Tshoane also highlighted the need for the Tshwane descendants to be recognised, adding that they want to be part of the administration in the municipality.

This, he said, was for the betterment of descendants.

"The previous administration of the city was aware of our wishes but now communications broke down when the administration changed."

He said they planned to put the issue back on the table.

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