ANC wants all pre-1994 monuments, names removed – FF Plus

Nathi Mthethwa told meeting at Freedom Park that their continued presence like "putting salt in a fresh wound"

ANC now targeting all monuments, place and street names from before 1994

13 March 2018

Should the government implement the recommendations made by the Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, all monuments that were erected prior to 1994 will be permanently removed.

Min. Mthethwa recently spoke about his proposal for the transformation of the country's heritage landscape at a meeting at Freedom Park in Tshwane and said that all monuments and “offensive” names from the colonial and apartheid periods must be done away with.

He said that the “continued public presence” of the names and monuments is like “putting salt in a fresh wound” for the “majority of the people of this country” and that it undermines social cohesion and nation building.

His also said that the history of the black South African community deserves more recognition seeing as “a nation‚ which does not know and honour its past‚ is like a tree without roots”.

The FF Plus is of the opinion that it is extremely short sighted to claim that doing away with any part of a country’s history will promote nation building and social cohesion in that country. The need for greater recognition for the black community’s heritage, history and past is quite understandable, but not at the cost of the contributions that other communities made to the country.

This view is not in line with the message of hope and unity that Pres Cyril Ramaphosa tried to convey.

It is common knowledge that the EFF spearheaded the 2014 campaign against monuments and just like with expropriation without compensation, it seems as if the EFF tail is starting to direct the ANC head on numerous levels.

One ‘monument’ of the previous dispensation that the ANC simply cannot take away from South Africa is the heritage of more than 50% of Africa’s infrastructure; railways, dams, water schemes, the electricity network, housing, economic development, industrialisation and a successful agricultural sector that made our country the economic giant of Africa.

The FF Plus will oppose the minister’s proposal in every possible way in parliament and will point out to Pres Ramaphosa what he is a co-author of the country’s Constitution of which the preamble states that South Africa belongs to all who live in it and that those who have worked to build and develop our country must be respected.

Issued by Wouter Wessels, FF Plus parliamentary spokesperson: Arts and Culture, 13 March 2018