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Baard family settles confusion

METRO REPORTER

THE family of former ANC Women’s League member and trade unionist Francis Baard say the spelling of her name on new street signs is correct.

Schoeman Street's new name is Francis Baard. Credit: Independent Newspaper Limited

“The Tshwane Metro Council is right in using ‘Francis’ on its new street name,” said granddaughter Mummy Baard who still lives in Mabopane.

She cleared up the confusion over the correct spelling after a Pretoria News reader, Rachel Jewkes, questioned why the male spelling of the name was used which also differed from the council named in Baard’s honour.

In June 2001, the Diamantveld District Council in Kimberley was renamed “Frances Baard District Municipality” in honour of her role in the Women’s March on August 9, 1956. A bronze statue of her was unveiled in Kimberley by the former premier of the Northern Cape, Hazel Jenkins, on August 9, 2009.

According to Mummy, she is aware that the name on the bronze statue is Frances.

Asked why the former district council was renamed “Frances Baard District Council”, Mummy said she could not shed any light on the issue. “Maybe they decided to go for the ‘coloured version’ of the name,” she said.

Baard, who was popularly known as “MmaBaard”, joined the ANC in 1948 and was an organiser in the women’s league at the time of the Defiance Campaign in 1952, serving later in various posts, including as secretary and treasurer of the league’s Port Elizabeth branch.

She later moved to Mabopane.

ANC Youth League member Jacqui Mofokeng said they were happy that the council had named Schoeman Street after Baard. “It is a reminder of the struggle of women (against apartheid),” said Mofokeng, adding that the metro council was correct with the use of “Francis” on the street name board.

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