Be sensitive when renaming - Tutu

2012-03-09 08:02

Cape Town - Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu says politicians should be sensitive when naming and renaming facilities after former leaders, according to a report on Friday.

The Cape Times reported him as saying leaders should consider everyone who had made a contribution to democracy, as no-one had risen to power on their own.

"Don't let it be a divisive exercise - as happened in KwaZulu-Natal. We should be magnanimous. Let's not rub people's noses in the dust, don't fill people with resentment," he said.

"History is a strange thing. Today's leaders can be tomorrow's vanquished."

Tutu was speaking at the naming of Rhodes University facilities in the Eastern Cape on Wednesday evening.

  • Kim - 2012-03-09 08:14

    One would have to be careful when renaming...... the majority of these so called leaders are corrupt.

      methedex - 2012-03-09 09:49

      Tutu is the type of black man that I would've been proud of were I black. Heck I'm proud of this man regardless. This is a real man, who fought in the real struggle. The ANC corrupt and the ANCYL can learn from this real man!

      amanda.victor2 - 2012-03-09 14:40

      How about they build something and name it? What's with this renaming? Why do they always have to take what someone else has made and claim it as their own? Build your own stuff and name it after one of your heroes. South Africa didn't start in 1994!

  • Mark - 2012-03-09 08:25

    They can rename whatever they like - bottom line is none of it works anymore so everybody will then know why it doesn't work any longer and we'll always know what it was called when it did work. We'll also have the advantage of knowing where the hell we are, whereas tourists will assume, quite correctly, that they're somewhere in darkest Africa. History also has a habit of teaching you things, if you care to learn......

      Grant - 2012-03-09 09:20

      Yes Stan but remember who built it...

      Marlene Black - 2012-03-09 09:36

      When the majority of our institutions / roads etc are renamed, they tend to degenerate. Use the Helen Joseph Hospital as an example. How disgusted she would be if she could see it. It is not a tribute to her - it's a disgrace.

      Bench86 - 2012-03-09 09:51

      What Nelson Mandela drive are you talking about Stan? The one in Jhb, Durban, East-London, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Potchefstroom, Polokwane (Pietersburg)...

      Garth - 2012-03-09 10:02

      @stan - what are you being so defensively insulting for? Chips anyone? Streets/roads/avenues/highways renamed with the names of so-called `heroes', are an example of the pathetic `struggle' that the useless anc, and its useless allies, never undertook, not with any courage anyway. Naming a part of the infrastructure after a murderer of innocents shows the mind set of these criminal incompetents. I second Cosmos's post, lower down.

      Bench86 - 2012-03-09 11:19

      @Enock - you are ignorant pal. Apartheid didn't end because of the ANC "Freedom Fighters". It ended because whites chose to end it, and because international sanctions threatened to destroy our economy. The ANC and MK was disorganised, undisciplined and heretic. Oh wait, almost like the government is now.

      Jacqui - 2012-03-09 13:08

      Bench 86, so true. The only thing they fought was boredom.

  • Cosmos O'Ndebele - 2012-03-09 08:28

    I dont like places named after people; like its the case here!!!

  • Nicholas - 2012-03-09 08:43

    The whole point of most of the renaming is to be insensitive as possible! It is an easy way to fake "change" and remind you who's now the boss

  • marius.lubbe - 2012-03-09 09:04

    I think in any era, whether in the previous government or the current one, naming streets and public places after people is a bad idea, especially in our country. You are going to hurt someone. Someone , somewhere is going to feel marginalized. Naming streets after people who will soon mean nothing to no-one, just as no-one knows, or cares, who most of the people are that many of the older (in some places current...)streets are named after, are designed to push your immediate political power onto the people. Is that good for the country, or furthering the goal of lessening the current racial tension that has been built up mainly by political figures, who should be striving to create harmony?

      Allen - 2012-03-09 10:36

      The Durban street renaming fiasco is a perfect example. A benign name of "Beachway" changed to Swapo Drive. What the hell has Swapo got to do with our country? Moore Road changed to Che Guevara??? What did Che Guevara do here? The process of street renaming went as follows:- Sutcliffe: "Let's see if we can really piss off the white ratepayers of Durban's "elite" areas" So he changed the name of every street in sight! What an absolute cock-up trying to find your way around Durban now. We have had to put up with names of "struggle heros" foisted on us - people that not even the black population have heard of. Historical street names changed by the whim of a selfless ANC lackee just to show the white people who live in these areas "whose boss"! I still refer to every street by its old name. Just about everyone does!It gets a laugh, but at least we know where we're going.

  • Hermann - 2012-03-09 09:15

    Good for the Arch.

  • Jason - 2012-03-09 09:22

    It's pretty funny that the guy responsible for the renaming of roads in durban has now immigrated to Canada.

      Garth - 2012-03-09 10:09

      There is nothing hilarious about that waste of oxygen, although there is something funny about him . . .

  • Grant - 2012-03-09 09:43

    People are missing the point. The government change place names so children will grow up believing that towns, highways, airports, dams etc were built post 1994 when in fact virtually nothing new has been built.

  • Gerald - 2012-03-09 09:52

    You can rename a street, a building or frankly anything you want but the fact remain you CAN'T RENAME or ERASE what was. Nor can you ERASE those people and EVENTS from history. There will always be insensitivity when it comes to renaming places. Naming something after Nelson Mandela seems to be the best choice (in this country) when renaming something; but in fact it might be viewed as being insensitive and insulting to many out there. Just like apartheid era names are an insult to many so is the democratic era names. Stick to something generic or keep things as they are. And to be honest calling something OR Tambo or DF Malan has no reflection on who these people were nor does it keep any memory of them alive. King Shaka Airport....Who was Shaka Zulu? Does anyone really know the history behind this man? INSENSITIVE? SENSITIVE? #matter of opinion#

  • Cat Pennels - 2012-03-09 10:14

    What an incredible man! It was a priviledge to hear him speak. I took some photos of him speaking (I'm a photojourn student at Rhodes) which can be viewed on my Tumblr -

      Cindy - 2012-03-09 10:39

      he is an absolute gem, isnt he? Perfect gentleman, perfect guest and great fun as well and tells the unvarnished truth (like he has always done)

  • Cindy - 2012-03-09 10:36

    It was a pleasure and an honour for Rhodes to host you Arch, we look forward to your future visits

  • Stephen - 2012-03-09 11:06

    Why don't we just change the name of the country and get over it already? How about "Hellholia", "Corruptia" or "Scamland" for starters?In fact why don't we get the President of Nigeria to name us seeing that we appear to be the most southern province of Nigeria and its 'Bitch'.

      Gerald - 2012-03-09 11:08

      REPUBLIC OF NELSON MANDELA dude! Since it all began with him and will end with him...or not since posthumous more things will be named after this larger than life guy! #get it over and done already#

  • Rob - 2012-03-09 11:15

    It would be even better if names were not appilied to infrastructure, but rather to projects. So much less contentious...although some of the existings ones would have to go.

  • Jacqui - 2012-03-09 13:06

    Should consider everyone who made a contribution!!!!. That will be the day.

  • Itse - 2012-03-09 13:33

    Street name changing is a hobby for bored,corrupt politians who don't know what to do with their time and our money:)

  • Lawrence - 2012-03-09 17:52

    Why not renaming N1,Julias Malema highway??

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