Presidential guesthouse renamed

2012-07-12 16:01

Johannesburg - The presidential guesthouse in Pretoria was named after former ANC president Sefako Mapogo Makgatho on Thursday at a ceremony led by President Jacob Zuma.

"Today we are celebrating yet again the legacy of an outstanding South African, the Limpopo-born teacher, politician and journalist - Sefako Mapogo Makgatho," said Zuma in a speech prepared for delivery at the ceremony.

"His contribution to the freedom and democracy we enjoy today, in the early years of our struggle for freedom, is being recognised through the naming of the Presidential Guest House in his honour."

Zuma said the presidency wanted visitors they received from all walks of life and from abroad to be inspired by Makgatho's legacy.

Zambezi Drive also being renamed

The naming was also in line with the national move to have symbols and place names reflect the country's history and diversity.

Zambezi Drive north east of the city was being renamed Makgatho Drive.

The nation should continuously pay tribute to men and women who committed their lives to fighting for human dignity, equality and freedom, he said.

Zuma provided some background on Makgatho, who he said appeared to have been be a "regular visitor" to the Union Buildings.

He met General Louis Botha, first prime minister of the Union of South Africa, and other government officials there. He was lobbying against the pass laws and the Native Land Act, which forbade land sales or purchases by blacks.

"President Makgatho believed in direct engagement with the oppressors who were sitting in the Union Buildings, in efforts to make them realise that they were destroying the country," said Zuma.

"It is befitting that a residence linked to the Union Buildings be named after him."

Former president Nelson Mandela was so inspired by Makgatho that he named his son Makgatho Mandela after him. Sefako Mapogo Makgatho died in 1951, in Pretoria.

Rejected pass laws

Born in then Pietersburg, now called Polokwane, Makgatho led the SA Native National Congress from 1917 to 1924.

He had been a teacher, a trade unionist, journalist and political activist "of note".

Makgatho rejected the authorities' explanation for pass laws - that it would be easier to identify a black person if they carried a pass.

He noted that the cost of getting a pass was filling the administration's coffers for things like schools for white children, while the needs of blacks were being neglected.

"Again, like the Cape Natives who carry no passes, white men also die in Johannesburg and it has never been suggested that they too, should carry identification passes," an extract of a speech by Makgatho at an ANC conference in 1919 said.

Zuma said that even if this history was "painful and uncomfortable" it could not be wished away.

"We must learn from it and build one united nation from the ruins of the divisions of the past."

  • andre.marx - 2012-07-12 16:05

    One thing these goverment guys are good at......renaming towns and streets.

      Squeegee - 2012-07-12 16:07

      Now known as "Palace la Gravy"

      Squeegee - 2012-07-12 16:41

      Alicia, I typed in a new address into my GPS and the lady voice said "You've got to be kidding", and then took me to the nearest KFC.

      colin.dovey - 2012-07-12 16:43

      You forgot some: ANC = Hell - Zuma = Zipper, Malema = Fatty

      Heinrich - 2012-07-12 16:49

      @fannie.mashilo Zambezi drive didn't sound very European or American to me.

      gieljam.gomtor - 2012-07-12 17:00

      Mapog se Makgat.inn.

      oomkrummel.krummel - 2012-07-12 17:04

      My word, what a sorry bunch of losers we have running our country.!! They rename stuff that already have perfectly good names, and rename them with ANC comrades names. So if you are just a “normal “South African like me...well that’s just too bad, we only count as OK if you are or were a member of the ANC. As if they were/are the ONLY bunch that liberated our country. It’s a shame the way they treat us taxpaying, law abiding citizens...!!

      jack.oosthuysen - 2012-07-12 17:35

      Makgatho/ At least the potholes will be attended too, that is Zambezi drive.

      bernpm - 2012-07-12 17:37

      ....not just the renaming. Without a party it is not considered completed. A street referring to the Zambezi river....? yucky...apartheid stuff. Rather some old comrade's name, a hero some 100 years ago known by very few people today. I would have liked to hear his comments on the Limpopo school book story and the after party of today's renaming ceremony.

      godesha - 2012-07-12 17:55

      @Fannie. The last I learnt in geography was that the Zambesi river is the border betwee Zambia and Zimbabwe. What is not African about that?

      godesha - 2012-07-12 17:57

      That sould read "between".

      victor.tamaranui - 2012-07-12 18:05

      Good move Mr. President, we as a nation can never shower enough praise and recognition to the Freedom fighters of the Past.

      sharon.erwin.96 - 2012-07-12 18:13

      Any excuse to have a party. The cake will, however, be eaten in secret behind closed doors so as not to offend the peasants.

      devon.riley.52 - 2012-07-12 18:14

      @andre they are good at stealing too, thats 2 things - 2012-07-12 19:18

      I wonder what this "Limpopo-born teacher"would make of the education shambles today. Probably turning in his grave.

  • tom.vorster - 2012-07-12 16:10

    Why did they wait so long to do this, its a priority that should have been dealt with ages ago, it would have made so much difference to so many.

      Heinrich - 2012-07-12 16:53

      The people downvoting you either has no idea what sarcasm is, or believe that all the namechanging warrants all the effort that goes into it and is more important than people having education or place to live in. I gave you the upvote.

      patricia.dewet.92 - 2012-07-12 17:28

      Even the mayor of Pretoria is confusing himself with his name changes. But can you believe it, Pretoria is so clean, no potholes, municipality is working like a "BOM". It just shows what a name change can do, because you don't know where you are.

  • gerald.jacobs.121 - 2012-07-12 16:13

    I say if you make it you get to name it otherwise you are just being lazy

      charnelle.bester - 2012-07-12 21:20

      Yip its easier to rename it, then to break it down and build a new one. They have done it so many times before. Rename it and make it mine.

  • storm.trooper.125 - 2012-07-12 16:17

    and if we gona get a new government..are they gona change the names again???

  • Provence - 2012-07-12 16:22

    The only thing the African has created, new names!

      colin.dovey - 2012-07-12 16:46

      According to them, they were the original names.....except there were no roads, streets, highways, hospitals, airports

  • godesha - 2012-07-12 16:22

    This is what really gets me, there are children in the very same Limpopo province with no text books and the ANC worries about renaming a guesthouse and streets. They really have their priorities screwed up.

  • rowan.maulson - 2012-07-12 16:42

    Oh yay.. more time wasted "renaming" stuff that nobody cares about... Visitors to the guest house won't be inspired by its name, they will just struggle to pronounce it.

  • Allan - 2012-07-12 16:46

    Pressing and important thing to do Mr Zuma? Now can we fix the other less important things like education, service delivery, crime? Work is all about priorities and looks like you work from the bottom up.

  • christopher.phago - 2012-07-12 16:53

    U can name everything with our heroes bt s south african we don't want anything named after Tribalist Zuma,nzimande,mantashe,buti manamela,sdumo dlamini n other corrupt comrade

  • aubrey.christie - 2012-07-12 16:55

    If this had been a mud hut rename it. You really are a bunch of idiots!!!!!!!!!!!

  • michael.kleber.376 - 2012-07-12 16:58

    These people laid there lives down for freedom , dignity and equality but sadly all that they died for was for greed and corruption , what a waste

      wim.kotze.9 - 2012-07-12 17:51

      Really? When they were laying down they were spreading AIDS!

  • tertius.aswegen - 2012-07-12 17:00

    ahhhh i get it election time coming up, time to 'buy' some votes. suppose these fools never going to start focusing on real matters. are there really no new roads or buildings that needs naming....

  • gembleton1 - 2012-07-12 17:00

    "The naming was also in line with the national move to have symbols and place names reflect the country's history and diversity." you mean the ANC`s History and non other , what a joke wast of more money

  • Rowan Cranston - 2012-07-12 17:04

    And the swimming pool is to be named "Zoo Lake"

  • reg.tischendorf - 2012-07-12 17:14

    do these a......holes have nothing better to do than to rename every bloody thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, what about the costs' involved!!!

  • vivian.harris.73 - 2012-07-12 17:21

    Can't believe this S**t!! Got time for ceremonies for a name change, but got no time to tackle the serious issues we have here in the country. Good for nothing idiots!!!!!

  • giftlucky.hliziyo - 2012-07-12 17:23

    Thank you the Honourable Mr Zuma for recognising the plight of indigenous Africans.Hip hip hooray.l'll party all night long!!

  • brainbowgold - 2012-07-12 17:30

    Would the DA rename again in a decade or two?

      bakers.dozen.14 - 2012-07-12 17:38

      @Brainbow : probably not waste their time renaming everything as they would be too busy with fixing the chaos left behind by the decades of gravy and corruption.

      victor.tamaranui - 2012-07-12 18:08

      Over hundred years of Disenfranchising of the People ....What are decades ???

      Jaffea Joe - 2012-07-12 18:15

      Is your Jesus coming back in a decade or two? The honorable President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma already let us know the ANC is gonna rule eternally

  • bakers.dozen.14 - 2012-07-12 17:33

    ek se fako l

  • ron.wale.3 - 2012-07-12 18:02

    The naming of public entities after politicians (of any party, past or present) should be outlawed in our Constitution as this practice is offensive in the extreme, and totally undemocratic. I cannot, and will not, honour ANY political figure as they are not representative of ALL South Africans. This is a divisive practice used by pathetic African political parties to force their own agenda on the people they are supposed to serve.

      Jaffea Joe - 2012-07-12 18:10

      How is it offensive to name it after the people that helped us from oppression? I find it offensive that you find it offensive. You white people need to wake up and smell the coffee, the rightful residents are now in charge

  • victor.tamaranui - 2012-07-12 18:04

    Good move Mr. President, we as a nation can never shower enough praise and recognition to the Freedom fighters of the Past.

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-07-12 18:43

      Every time you guys go off about your freedom fighter I get this little scaly grin on my face.

      victor.tamaranui - 2012-07-12 19:10

      Is this because you enjoy being a Free citizen Today because of these Heroes of the Past ??

  • patricia.dewet.92 - 2012-07-12 19:15

    Lots of name changes to confuse people, it makes them look good but the town look the same, in need of repair.

      victor.tamaranui - 2012-07-12 19:44

      Fact is the same GDP has to take care of many more people since 1994 however our GDP has tripled in the last 8 years and the recent injection of 300 Billion into RSA infrastructure is a reflection of better times ahead. Instead of looking at items negatively why not indulge in some actual & FACTUAL research. The strides forward over the last few years is unprecedented in RSA History. The FDI has more than tripled since 2010 cos' as I predicted Greedy Western Entrepreneurs will never settle for minimum gains in Western investment however it is the Developing world, It is the only market offering much higher returns which will satisfy the belligerently inflated lifestyles.

      charnelle.bester - 2012-07-12 20:58

      Yes Victor lets be positive. Makes a huge amount of sense, lets just ignore the crime and poverty and blame white people for it. Victor geuss what, I am white, I owe you nothing!

  • pieriewaaier.zooms - 2012-07-12 19:37

    And I always thought it was Nkandla! Haven't we just recently paid in excess of R30-million for its upgrade with heli pads, underground escape passage ways, tarred roads, etc etc? Or - wait a minute! - did we pay that for the KZN house of ill repute? Of course! So, let's count our blessings - at least we did not have to pay (for the time being, must be said) for the R2-billion+ Boeing luxurious fornication pad.Phew! Aren's we blessed?

  • James - 2012-07-12 21:09

    History?? Whose history?? The real men and women who mattered are just wiped out. Do they even know who Jan Christiaan Smuts was. A great politician and a great soldier. The only field marshal SA has ever produced. Great Britain wanted him as their prime minister. He formulated the constitution of The League of Nations. But that is not history, because the African National Circus decides who qualifies as "great". The waste of money .... An upgrade of GPS software costs R1000,00. It will only remain valid for one week!!

      harold.parsons.37 - 2012-07-12 21:36

      james leave these people alone do not worry just keep still. They never had a written history they make it up as they go along. That is why the colonial governments ignored them and took what they wanted without a contract because the uneducated illiterate would never be able to keep their word. The concept of history is what the colonials gave them the concept of the truth the missionaries tried to give them, Sadly they failed. So we end up today shareing a country with a people who cannot tell the truth and have no fixed history. If you want to know about Makgatho read General Bothas writtings it is the only factual reference about this native leader.

  • phillip.marchant.52 - 2012-07-12 21:41

    Oh, thank goodness ! At last we're getting down to the really pressing issues the country faces. For a moment I thought we were going to start wasting our time and money on paltry non-issues again, like delivering textbooks to irritating schoolkids in time for their exam finals, or pandering to every whim of the poor and being expected to provide jobs for them. Don't they know when they've got it good? Honestly, you just can't please anyone these days. Thank goodness for proper statesmanship, in sticking to the really important stuff.

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-07-13 12:01

    Just another day in Disneyworld.

  • EmperorNemisis - 2012-07-13 13:31

    Another technically illiterate communist gets something named after him. Why don't we rename the Nelson Mandela metropol after Joseph Stalin whilst we are at it, swapping the name of one useless communist for another useless communist, it's all the same! "What a good way to honour makgatho,his grand kids must start a fashion label using their grand fathers name." I'm not ridiculing you Fannie, but they don't know their own fathers, how the hell do they know their grandfathers. We all know how African culture works, pay-as-you-go, you pay her, stay over, impregnate her, and then go as fast as the taxi can carry you!

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