Cape Town's street renaming disgrace

2015-01-28 21:21

Patricia de Lille finally succeeded in renaming a road after F.W De Klerk; the DA led City of Cape Town approved the renaming and disregarded objections. The City says its renaming the road for reconciliation and national unity and that those who object its decisions are racist and do not want to move forward.

South Africans, especially black South Africans were objecting to the proposal not because they’re racist but because the “Rainbow National” propaganda failed to erase the real truth about apartheid presidents and the system they presided over.

Renaming the road after an apartheid president is an insult rather than a sign of reconciliation. The National Party did not end apartheid by choice but they were forced to. The renaming insults the many people who fought hard, lost lives and still carry the scars of the old regime. It assumes that they never earned their freedom.

The DA led City of Cape Town also uses the name of Nelson Mandela to defend its decision to honour an apartheid president. We must be reminded that Nelson Mandela respected De Klerk, but he never liked him or thought of him as a “great leader” worthy of honours.

Patricia the mayor of Cape Town and Helen Zille the premier must be reminded of how Nelson Mandela viewed De Klerk: he was not a fan. In fact, he refreed to De Klerk was a man "with blood on his hands".

During the political unrest that took place in areas such as KZN and JHB hostels the National Party was regarded as a “third force”. IFP political leaders who fuelled the violence are on record saying De Klerk’s government provided them with weapons. These weapons were used by the blacks to kill other blacks courtesy of the government.

In 1993, a few months before the country’s first democratic elections, the killing of children in Mthatha aged between 12 and 17 was authorised. The NP led government branded the dead children “terrorists” in a statement. This all happened just few weeks ahead of both Mandela and De Klerk’s joint Nobel Prize joint award. Nelson Mandela would then go on record saying De Klerk was guilty of “an act of thuggery….for a president to authorise the killing of children is a blatant act of terrorism.” De Klerk never apologised for those killings and went on to accept the Noble Prize with Mandela a week later and they both smiled to the world because at the time; that was what a country on the edge of war needed.

Nelson Mandela accused De Klerk of bloodshed calling him “a man with blood on his hands”. He would go on to comment that De Klerk kept a blind eye and allowed the “slaughter of innocent people because they are black” and said such acts “ will remain a stain on him.”

Of course all of this was never highly reported because even good journalists were still riding on the wave of “national unity”. Anything that spoke a different message was a threat and the truth was put aside because of Desmond Tutu’s rainbow.

I only put a light on events that happened between 1990 and 1993 because they show, that even when the apartheid system was on its knees De Klerk and his National Party were doing all they could to render the country ungovernable for the new incoming democratic government.

Research today show that officials in departments of the De Klerk administration bankrupted the government; taking all that was left. His cabinet presided over this and allowed the looting to happen. Thus the ANC inherited not only inherited a morally bankrupt government but also a financial bankrupt one.

Now, in 2015 the Western Cape government and the City of Cape Town refuse to be honest with themselves. They say they are living and building on Nelson Mandela’s legacy.

De Lille and Helen Zille must tell South Africans if Nelson Mandela would want a man that allowed these atrocities to be honoured. They must explain if this man, under whose watch acts of “thuggery” were committed just a few months before South Africa’s first election is worthy of an honour and should be a constant reminder to South Africans whenever they decide to use a certain road in Cape Town.

Helen Zille and De Lille must also tell us if they are doing this for reconciliation or as an attempt to cling on the National Party votes they have managed to attract over to the DA.

It is sad that during a period when Cape Town is at its peak with racist incidents that the DA wants to honour the last president of a racist regime.

I wonder if De Lille can recognise herself, from a Pan Africanist PAC soldier to a National Party President praise singer who fights people she once stood with against apartheid.

FOLLOW @EsethuHasane on Twitter

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