We ask the learned elders of the City of Cape Town how they can classify a call to prayer and a globally respected symbol of peace as noise. This is an insult of the highest order which only an arrogant DA-run city will perpetuate.
We must force DA mayor Dan Plato to take responsibility for the belligerent attack on the religious symbols of our communities. The Muir Street Mosque and the other mosques and churches in District Six are historic symbols of our people’s resistance against the brutal apartheid regime.
We will not allow them to silence the Athaan call to prayer or any other religious symbol such as church bells because for decades it was a powerful reminder of the resistance of a community that was displaced and ravaged by the Group Areas Act.
These symbols are powerful reminders of a time when we as a community stood as one and when Imam, sheikh, pastor, bishop, rabbi, chief and swami defiantly marched arm in arm for our liberation and freedom.
Today, 25 years into our democracy we will not countenance that our hard won freedoms be taken away or compromised by a lone objector.
It escapes the DA-run City of Cape Town that the Athaan call to prayer has a proud history from the days of our resistance to slavery when it was called out in the Quarry on High Level Road in the first slave protest.
In the 1980s and 1990s it rang out loud on the streets of Cape Town - Allahu Akbar - God is the greatest, alongside the slogans of Amandla.
We say to the City of Cape Town, hands off our Struggle heritage and religious symbols. We shall mobilise our communities across all faiths in Cape Town to ensure that our freedoms and religious symbols remain sacrosanct and respected!
We will stand with Sheikh Mogamat Moerat and the committee and community of Muir Street Mosque until the City of Cape Town respects our rights and freedoms.
* Nkosi Zwelivelile 'Mandla' Mandela, Royal House of Mandela, MP and Member of the Pan African Parliament.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.