Get IOL's cool new iPad app...
Racist anarchists in Potchefstroom are removing new street name signs to dump them in the Vaal River, the city council said on Monday.
Spokesperson Kaizer Mohau said a street sign for Nelson Mandela Rylaan had also been defaced to read "Dela Rylaan" - an apparent reference to Boer war general Koos de la Rey.
"Sixty percent of new progressive street names have been removed in the last few months," he said.
Mohau said these actions were aimed at causing what he termed "political and social instability" and would not be tolerated.
He said 15 to 20 new street name signs had been dumped in the Vaal River by racist anarchists.
"We cannot allow a situation wherein people are able to do as they please when they are not satisfied with one thing or another," he said.
Mohau said the removal of the signs had made it difficult for emergency services and police to reach crime and accident scenes on time.
"We hope and trust that relevant law enforcement agencies will ensure that these criminals are brought to book and change is unfolding without any disturbances," he said.
Meanwhile, no decision has been made on a proposal to change the name of Potchefstroom to Tlokwe.
In March 2007 the civil society group Action Potchefstroom took the matter to court, asking for an urgent ruling that the city's name could not be changed as there had been insufficient public participation for such a decision to be made.
Changing the name of the city was mooted in July last year when the council announced it wanted to call it Tlokwe.
Tlokwe is derived from the Batlhokwa people who settled in the area.
The city's current name was derived from Voortrekker leader Hendrik Pot(gieter), chef (the leader, referring to Potgieter), and stroom (the nearby Mooi River), according to a business and tourism website for the city.
The announcement in 2006 led to protest action including marches and protest letters from several opposition parties, civil society groups and the Potchefstroom Campus of the North West University.