Why hasn't DA removed Verwoerd statue in Midvaal? - ANC

Jackson Mthembu says it is an affront that symbol of apartheid repression is still celebrated


The continued hoisting high of apartheid architect Dr Hendrik Verwoerd's statue by the Democratic Alliance (DA) Midvaal Mayor Timothy Nast outside the Mayerton municipal buildings during democracy, is yet another confirmation that the DA shares apartheid sentiments and philosophies, which for years racially polarised the South African society with Black people having been at the receiving end of oppression, exploitation and institutionalised segregation (see Mail & Guardian report).

We firmly believe that the continued hoisting of Dr Verwoerd's statue in Midvaal, as well as last Friday's landmark Western Cape High Court judgment on the Makaza open toilets ruling, which found that the DA-led City of Cape Town violated the human rights and dignity of Black people who include Africans, Coloureds and Indians, is enough to convince the South African electorate that the DA is a party only committed to racial segregation, with no interest in building better communities.

The sheer display of arrogance by Mr Nast who has refused to remove Dr Verwoed's statue - despite much discomfort and displeasure expressed by the majority of our people - is a clear indication of the DA's resolve to continue with its psychological warfare to subject South Africans to the dehumanising system of apartheid oppression. Mr Nast's insensitive comment that residents would be "angry" if the statue was removed, remains an insult to millions of South Africans who were on the receiving end of apartheid.

Tolerant as we are of those who inflicted pain to our people during decades of apartheid tyranny in this country, we cannot tolerate a situation in which an architect of apartheid and a symbol of racial oppression is being celebrated by Mr Nast and the DA during democracy. Failure by DA leader Helen Zille to call the Midvaal mayor to order and get Dr Verwoerd's statue removed also shows DA's complicity in the promotion of the apartheid legacy and disregard for Black people - particularly those residing in the Midvaal region.

To the majority of South Africans - except in the eyes of the DA - Dr Verwoed remains a symbol, embodiment and apartheid architect of all ills of the country's terrible past and his statue should be confined to a museum. Instead of allowing the promotion of Dr Verwoed's statue, the DA should be ashamed and be sensitive of what millions of our people have gone through.

Statement issued by Jackson Mthembu, ANC national spokesperson, May 4 2011

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