Toti bomber honoured

2008-07-18 00:00

A SCHOOL near Amanzimtoti was officially renamed Andrew Zondo Primary amid great fanfare yesterday, although the Education Department has not registered the name.

The school, which was built three years ago, is now named after the so-called “Toti bomber”, Andrew Zondo, an ANC activist who planted a bomb at the Sanlam Centre in December 1985.

The teenager was sentenced to death by hanging in September 1986 for the deaths of five people, three of whom were children.

One of the victims was two-year-old Willem van Wyk of Vereeniging, who was on holiday with his family. A crèche near the school will be named after Willem.

Although Education officials and pupils celebrated the renaming of the school yesterday, it is not certain that the name will be accepted by the provincial Education Department.

During a media briefing, Education MEC Ina Cronjé was asked what she thought about the school being named after Zondo.

Cronjé said the school, formerly known as Lovu Primary School, has applied for a name change, but that nothing has been finalised. Andrew Zondo has not been confirmed as its official name.

She said the school was asked to submit three names to the department, which would then follow certain policies and procedures.

“The department is still considering and no name has been chosen yet,” she said.

Cronjé would not comment on when the name will be finalised.

Nor would she comment on whether Zondo’s and Willem’s families were consulted on the school being named after the activist.

Principal Mzwandile Sibiya said the local community decided to honour Zondo during several meetings that were held with school management and local leaders.

“I’m a servant of the community and if I don’t follow the people’s instructions, I would have failed them.

“The community wanted the school to be named after Zondo,” he said. People made their choice and there was nothing he could do about it.

Sibiya said Jacob Zuma’s anthem uMshini Wami was one of the names that was suggested for the school, but the community found the name inappropriate.

There were also suggestions that the school be called Lovu Primary School, but there is already a school of that name in the area.

“They wanted Andrew Zondo because he opened up negotiations for the people.

“By naming the school after him, we remember a person who fought for our freedom.”

He said it is “extraordinary” that the school was renamed on the same day that Nelson Mandela celebrated his birthday.

“We are making history today. Everyone, from the educators to the pupils, is proud of the school’s name,” he said.

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