'This flag is now expropriated without compensation' - attempt made to steal old SA flag used in protest

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The note Johan Pienaar received (Supplied, Johan Pienaar)
The note Johan Pienaar received (Supplied, Johan Pienaar)

Stellenbosch – The activist who invited people to walk on an old South African flag outside the Woordfees in Stellenbosch, said his point was proven after someone tried to steal the flag on Thursday morning.

Johan Pienaar, who bought a flag and wrote the names of prominent apartheid architects and alleged enablers on it and invited people to walk on it, said the goal was to get people to start talking about the flag.

READ: 'Come walk over the old SA flag because we need to talk about it'

But on Thursday morning, a man approached him and gave him a piece of paper with the words "This flag is now expropriated without compensation" on it, before grabbing the flag and running away. 

"I think once again, this is an example that right wingers only want to use violence to solve their problems," Pienaar said.

On Tuesday, Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr tweeted that he would offer a reward of R1 500 to anyone who removed the flag from the sidewalk in Stellenbosch, while Freedom Front Plus leader Corné Mulder suggested Pienaar should get himself security following his "attention-seeking stunts".

Pienaar told News24 on Wednesday that he bought the Oranje, Blanje, Blou from a group on Facebook and wrote the names of people such as HF Verwoerd, Johann Coetzee, PW Botha, FW de Klerk, JG Strydom, Steve Hofmeyr, and ET (a reference to former Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging leader Eugene Terre'Blanche) on it to start a discussion.

"I am doing it because we need to have a discussion about the old flag. People should start thinking about what it means to other people."

Pienaar said he took issue with the display of the flag at Black Monday protests that were held across the country last year.

"It further highlighted a disconnect prevalent in the white community about the deep symbolism this flag is imbued with," he wrote.

"It is the symbol of a crime against humanity, perpetrated in the name of white South Africa. Its display, and those who protect it in the name of tradition and sentimentality, engages in apartheid pornography of the most brutal kind."

Willem Petzer, who tweeted the video of the man stealing the flag, said he was "angry" with Pienaar about the inclusion of poet Totius’ name on the flag.

"I am angry that he [Pienaar] acted like this. Totius was the father of our church and the reason we have the Bible in Afrikaans," he told News24

In the tweet, Petzer said his generation was sick of people like Pienaar.

"Generasie Z is GATVOL vir julle boomers se liberalistiese volkshaat! Ons SAL NIE DAT JULLE MEER SPOEG OP ONS VOLKSHELDE NIE! Jammer @steve_hofmeyr, die vlag is verwyder, nie meer te koop nie!" [Generation Z are fed up with you boomers and your liberal people's hate. We won’t allow you to spit on our people's heroes. Sorry Steve Hofmeyr, the flag has been removed and isn't available anymore].

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