Ricochet News

“De Klerk Road” naming to go ahead

By Charl Bosch - Jan 19, 2015
“De Klerk Road” naming to go ahead

The proposed re-naming of Cape Town’s Table Bay Boulevard to former President FW de Klerk has been given the green light by city mayor Patricia de Lille.

“We are going to council on January 28 and, subject to approval in council, the remaining of the road will take place,” de Lille’s spokesperson, Pierrinne Leukes, told the media on Monday.

In a statement last Wednesday, City of Cape Town Councillor, Brett Herron, said the name change complies with the city’s re-naming regulations in that citizens may be recognised during their lifetime if they had received international awards of the highest kind.

“I am honoured and touched by the decision of the City of Cape Town's Naming Committee to recommend the renaming of Table Bay Boulevard in my honour,” de Klerk said in a statement on Wednesday.

“I would sincerely like to thank all those – including many prominent residents of the Cape – who have supported this initiative.”

The decision was met with severe backlash from the African National Congress (ANC) and Congress of SA Trade Unions (COSATU) with the ruling party’s spokesperson, Zizi Kodwa, saying that de Klerk played “no part in the liberation of the ANC” after Apartheid.

“He was part of apartheid. He cannot be a messiah,” Kodwa said in a statement on Friday.

“President de Klerk is the only living president of apartheid. You can’t differentiate between all the other presidents of apartheid, because all that he did among other things was to maintain apartheid. He did not voluntarily release Nelson Mandela. It was out of the pressure of the masses of people,” Kodwa remarked.

Similarly, COSATU’s Western Cape Provincial Secretary, Tony Ehrenreich, said that city was trying to give de Klerk the same amount of exposure as his successor, Nelson Mandela, and that he “just happened to be the leader of the National Party and was forced to negotiate with the ANC to ensure that the big businesses did not lose what they stole in a bloody civil war”.

“This City of Cape Town does it because of the fact that the National Party is part of the DA,” Ehrenreich said in statement on the organisation’s website on Thursday.

“The reality is that Mandela was a liberator of the people of South Africa and a man who aspired to undo the legacy of Apartheid. De Klerk on the other hand was an architect of Apartheid and responsible for implementing a system that brutally oppressed the majority”.

He added that de Klerk’s 1993 Nobel Peace Prize was “no great achievement in the context of SA” and that “if a monkey had been standing next to President Mandela, he would also have received a Nobel Prize by virtue of Mandela’s status”.


IMAGE sourced from www.voanews.com