News24

Afrikaners still have clout - FF+

2010-02-03 20:11

Pretoria - Arts and Culture Minister Lulu Xingwana's decision to withdraw the announcement of Pretoria's name change to Tshwane proved Afrikaners still held some weight, the Freedom Front Plus said on Wednesday.

"It shows that Afrikaners as a group are too strong to merely be shoved to one side and steamrolled with regards to issues that are important to them," said FF+ councillor Conrad Beyers.

"On the other hand it shows that effective communication channels between the Afrikaner community and the government exist which can be used to avoid conflict situations."

Party leader and Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Pieter Mulder, had been in talks with various senior ministers and other parties in the past week in an effort to stop Pretoria's name change, Beyers said.

The party expressed its appreciation for the support of civil organisation AfriForum.

"This is also an example of how public pressure by civil organisations together with political access to the decision makers, through the deputy minister's position... can solve problems," said Beyers.

The FF+ said its victory had given the ANC radicals "a bloody nose".

"We expect that there will again be attempts by some elements in the ANC to force the name change, but the longer Pretoria retains its name, the more difficult it becomes to get rid of the name," said Beyers.