The EFF has used the Heritage Day celebrations in the country to call for the removal of Die Stem from the National Anthem. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/ African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has used the Heritage Day celebrations in the country to call for the removal of Die Stem from the national anthem.

EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said his party also wants the removal of all apartheid and colonial statues and symbols removed.

“These symbols perpetuate the comfort of racists and white supremacy,” Ndlozi said.

He said his party was joining all South Africans in celebrating Heritage Day saying “On this day, we reiterate our call for the return of the land through the management of our constitution to allow expropriation without compensation”.

He said the most important heritage upon which all culture is based, is the land.

“Finally, we call on the entire continent to embrace Kiswahili as a language of continental unity. Let us take pride in our heritage,” Ndlozi said.

Meanwhile, the Swahili Language Board of Southern Africa (SLBSA) also joined the rest of South African in celebrating national Heritage Day.

SLBSA chairperson Dr Zukile Jama said his body bare cognisance of how South African continues to preserve its rich and diverse heritage especially its indigenous languages.

“It is with this view that we fully support the recent calls of officially adopting Kiswahili as one of our national languages. SLBSA is one of the institutions equipped to assist with building a solid foundation of Swahili language in Southern Africa,” Dr Jama said.

He said the call for the adoption of Kiswahili as Africa’s common language by EFF leader Julius Malema and the recent announcement by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga that Kiswahili has been approved as the second language that would be offered to learners in South African schools were in-line with their vision of promoting the usage of Kiswahili for regional unity and sustainable socio-economic development in Southern Africa.

The Star