Thursday, May 26, 2005


In South Africa, 3000 white Afrikaners protested the name change of Pretoria to Tshwane.

The city’s mayor responded by stating that Tshwane, a name of an early native chief, means ‘we are the same’, thus symbolising the end of South Africa's draconian and shameful racial past that had been perpetrated by the Afrikaner’s apartheid system.

Former white President FW de Klerk complained about the increasing tendency to purge the history and traditions of minorities from South Africa’s emerging national identity. He said that Pretoria was the symbol of the anti-colonial war that Afrikaners fought against the British Empire.

But de Klerk failed conveniently to mention that the white Afrikaners did even worse than what colonialism had perpetrated, instituting one of the most evil regimes ever, that treated non-whites as sub-humans, discriminating wantonly against their basic rights. He should recognise that the Afrikaner past has been regarded as the very symbol of evil racism.

On this score alone, the name of Pretoria should be changed to disassociate from the shameful past.

Related posting:
City Names Going Native!

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