Debate on Freedom Park names rages on

By Time of article published Feb 8, 2007

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Omitting apartheid-era SA Defence Force (SADF) soldiers from the Wall of Names at Freedom Park would be "one-sided," AfriForum chief executive Kallie Kriel said on Thursday.

Kriel was speaking at a workshop on whether to include the names of SADF members at the memorial, along with freedom fighters.

"If the Freedom Park continues the current trend of portraying history from the ANC's prospective only, then it should not hold the monument up to be an 'inclusive monument' for all South Africans," Kriel said.

However, he said Freedom Park can be transformed into a symbol of mutual recognition and respect if it included foreign soldiers who came to South Africa to fight communism.

He said if the names of the dead of the two World Wars were included, then South African soldiers who died in the Korean War should be honoured as well.

Kriel said the term genocide should be avoided at all costs as it created the impression that it was practised by all whites.

The debate on Freedom Park could not be reduced to a mere inclusion of the names of SADF members on the Wall of Names. "The names are only one system of a deep rooted problem namely one sided, subjective interpretation of history," Kriel said.

- AfriForum describes itself as a civil rights initiative of the trade union Solidarity. - Sapa

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