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Colonial and Apartheid-era symbols to be removed from South Africa’s public spaces

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Nathi Mthethwa

The South African government has announced plans to ensure that all public spaces named after colonial and apartheid era masterminds, including towns, are removed.

This is said to be actions that will make way for genuine reconciliation. Campaigning on Sunday, 14 April 2019, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said, “We cannot have public spaces named after those people. That would not be reconciliation.

“It would be capitulation. Our project is the project of reconciliation. This is like asking the Germans to have (Adolf) Hitler in their public spaces,” Mthethwa said.

On his part, ruling African National Congress’ national executive committee member and subcommittee chairperson, Mathole Motshekga, said the current social ills and degeneration of morals in the country — including corruption, femicide and substance abuse — were the result of the legacy of apartheid, which he said the ANC-led government has attempted to root out.

“Apart from having established the moral regeneration movement, President Cyril Ramaphosa has convened a national interfaith gathering to launch a social movement for renewal to ensure that this matter is addressed at the highest possible level,” Motshekga said.

He said a social movement would help the country as a mirror through which people would re-examine their state of morality as individuals, households and communities.

He added, “The rationale for a civil society-led moral regeneration effort is sound, given the moral and ethical fracturing caused by colonial and apartheid misrule.”

He said the party would push for legislation of the Hate Crimes Bill which would address hate crimes perpetrated along racial, gender, religious and sexual identity along orientation lines.

– APA

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