Pretoria - The City of Tshwane has proposed that Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Tse Tung's name be added to its street names bank.
Democratic Alliance councillor Elmarie Linde objected on Thursday to the move, describing the man as a “mass murderer, a womaniser, liar and drug baron”.
“The name of Mao Tse Tung was proposed and despite a heated debate from certain opposition parties, who do not want to see the name of this Chinese dictator on the boards in Tshwane, it was approved,” Linde said.
“The DA does not support the inclusion of this name as he was known as a mass murderer, a womaniser, liar and drug baron and that he stood for everything that the South African Constitution does not support.”
But the City of Tshwane insisted that he deserved the nomination.
“Mao Tse Tung was a revolutionary in his own right. This is one of the criteria the city used to select the name,” spokeswoman Lebogang Matji said.
“While the DA might not like the proposal on the grounds of him being a dictator, they must bear in mind that Andries Pretorius and Paul Kruger were also dictators but the city kept the names with a view of nation building.”
This followed a decision taken at the monthly council meeting to add China's Mao Tse Tung to the Tshwane metro names bank.
The names bank is used to name streets, areas and buildings in the municipal area.
Linde said the African National Congress was celebrating the death of nearly 70 million people in China by adding Mao Tse Tung to the name bank.
“Mao Tse Tung was as evil as Hitler and Stalin and he wanted war with Korea, knowing that the Chinese losses would be astronomical.”
Mao Tse Tung was a Chinese Communist revolutionary and the founding father of the People's Republic of China.
He was the chairman of the Communist Party of China from its establishment in 1949 until he died in 1976.
Linde said bringing his name into Tshwane would deliberately ignore the years of struggle the country had gone through.
“The DA will never allow the naming of streets or public buildings after Mao Tse Tung, as it is almost as bad as naming places after Barend Strydom, Eugene de Kock or Clive Derby-Lewis,” she said.