FF Plus furious over renaming of De Waal Drive after PAC stalwart

Struggle hero Philip Kgosana. (Alide Dasnois, GroundUp)
Struggle hero Philip Kgosana. (Alide Dasnois, GroundUp)

Cape Town - The Freedom Front Plus has vowed to prevent the renaming of Cape Town's De Waal Drive after Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) leader Philip Kgosana, calling it a slap in the face of tax payers.

The party said there was nothing wrong with naming the freeway with the sweeping views of the harbour after the first administrator of the Union of South Africa, Nicolas Frederick de Waal.

It was, after all, De Waal's idea to build a road linking the city and the southern suburbs, to the benefit of the city's residents, said FF+ leader Corne Mulder.

"To trample on his legacy and contribution to the city in this manner is scandalous," continued Mulder, who felt the City should rather focus on the pressing water crisis.

The party intended demanding details of the cost of the renaming from Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille, who is a former PAC member.

The City of Cape Town announced on Thursday that it would rename two roads in the city.

De Waal Drive would be named after Kgosana to mark the protest he led from Nyanga and Langa on March 30, 1960, on that route to Parliament. They were protesting over apartheid's pass laws, which made it a crime for black men to be out of the area to which apartheid laws limited them. The protesters were also appalled by the Sharpeville massacre of March 21, in what is now known as Gauteng. Sixty-nine people were killed in the protest over the pass laws.

Kgosana, who was 23 at the time of the Cape Town march, was arrested. A week later, the African National Congress, and its breakaway the PAC were banned, and a state of emergency declared. 

Kgosana died on April 19 this year, at the age of 80. The renaming came after a suggestion by former Cape Times editor Tony Heard received approval.

The council also approved the renaming of Salazar Plain on the Foreshore after the late Hamilton Naki, who was heart surgeon Dr Christiaan Barnard's laboratory technician. He was largely unrecognised for his contribution to Barnard's pioneer work and his own career was limited by restrictions to where black people were allowed to study.

The plain is opposite the Christian Barnard Hospital and the Media24 building.

In addition, a life-sized statue of the late former president Nelson Mandela would be installed on the balcony at the City Hall where he made his first public speech after his release from prison on February 11, 1990.

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