Independent Online

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Rage at road honour for FW

141020. Cape Town. The ANC in the Cape Town council said it would oppose plans by the city to rename Table Bay Boulevard — the first section of the N1 freeway from Cape Town — in honour of former president FW de Klerk. Picture Henk Kruger/Cape Argus

141020. Cape Town. The ANC in the Cape Town council said it would oppose plans by the city to rename Table Bay Boulevard — the first section of the N1 freeway from Cape Town — in honour of former president FW de Klerk. Picture Henk Kruger/Cape Argus

Published Oct 21, 2014

Share

Cape Town - FW de Klerk, as the “last president of the apartheid era”, should not be honoured by having Table Bay Boulevard named after him, says the ANC.

“We respect and uphold the principles of nation-building… but FW de Klerk was the last president of the apartheid era. Under his watch his ministers orchestrated black on black violence. I don’t think it is befitting to be reminded of this painful past,” said ANC councillor Bheki Hadebe at Monday’s Good Hope Subcouncil meeting.

Story continues below Advertisement

The city’s naming committee said the proposal was motivated by the role De Klerk played in South Africa’s democratic transition.

“He is a Nobel Peace laureate recipient who has not received any recognition for the role he played in the recent history of South Africa,” it said.

In correspondence with mayor Patricia de Lille, Frits Gaum of the Dutch Reformed Church listed several reasons why the road should carry De Klerk’s name.

Story continues below Advertisement

These included “De Klerk’s amazing ability to convince his voters that the ruling power had to be handed over to a democratically elected government”.

Gaum said De Klerk delivered his memorable February 2, 1990 speech in Cape Town and it was also in this city that he first allowed mass demonstrations. If the boulevard was renamed in February 2015, it would be 25 years since his historic speech.

He said the FW de Klerk Foundation had indicated that the former president would not want to be honoured with a street that already carried someone’s name and the Foundation “as such would for obvious reasons not initiate or promote a renaming after him”.

Story continues below Advertisement

However, a renaming would be “in order” if the proposal was mooted by others.

Table Bay Boulevard was a “neutral” name with no connotations, and it would therefore be an uncontroversial name change that would cause little inconvenience, said Gaum.

But Hadebe said the city’s naming policy stated that roads should not be named after people who were still alive.

Story continues below Advertisement

The renaming of Eastern Boulevard after former President Nelson Mandela in 2011, was one of the exceptions that could be made for notable people and those who had achieved “international recognition of the highest kind”.

Subcouncil chairman Demetri Qually noted the ANC’s comment, which will be included in the subcouncil’s submission to the naming committee on the proposal. But he added that De Klerk was instrumental in South Africa’s negotiated settlement, and his recognition with Mandela for a Nobel Peace Prize meant the former presidents were inevitably linked.

Gaum’s motivation included the support of 30 signatories, including heavy-weight political leaders, clerics, businessmen, academics, among others, including Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Naspers non-executive chairman Ton Vosloo, director of the Afrikanerbond Jan Bosman and historian and journalist Leopold Scholtz.

* Comments and objections to the proposal can be submitted to the city until October 31, at [email protected]

[email protected]

Cape Argus

Related Topics:

Share