Maimane admits to having problems with Die Stem

2016-08-18 11:00
Mmusi Maimane (AP)

Johannesburg - DA leader Mmusi Maimane has problems singing Die Stem, but says changes to the National Anthem are subject to constitutional processes.

In negotiations with the EFF to form coalitions there had been broad discussions about street names and other remnants of apartheid, he told reporters in Sandton on Wednesday.

He was asked whether he did indeed tell the EFF that asking black people to sing Die Stem was like asking Jews to sing songs expressing support for Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

“As a child, I had to go through Die Stem, so I had to think carefully about that,” he said.

The EFF on Wednesday said it would not enter into coalitions with the DA, due to ideological differences between the parties. It would, however, vote with the DA in the Tshwane, Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, and Nelson Mandela Bay metros.

Maimane announced shortly afterwards that his party would enter into coalitions with the FF Plus, Cope, UDM, and ACDP.

He said if Tshwane should be renamed, it would have to go through a public participation process “just like anything about national symbols”. This was because this process was prescribed by the Constitution.

While he had views about singing Die Stem, consensus had to be reached.

“The issue for me is that we can build a common consensus and agree about an issue like Afrikaans because I’m always at the forefront of trying to build a negotiated consensus for South Africans.”

One of the EFF’s preconditions for going into coalitions with other parties was that they should agree to the scrapping of Die Stem from the National Anthem. The EFF demanded that parties should agree with them about issues like the expropriation of land, the nationalisation of mines, and free education. 

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