By Thys Khiba
Sasolburg – The Free State Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Provincial Secretary Bosanku Msimanga says that white men thought less of black people when they named a Free State town, Kroonstad which simply means a horse of Sarel Cillier.
It is regarded as a great pit stop when travelling between Johannesburg and Bloemfontein.
“Loved for its wide open spaces and abundance of vegetation, Kroonstad is a adise for nature lovers.”
During the Boer War, the British built a concentration camp in Kroonstad to house women and children. The EFF Provincial Secretary,Msimanga went to say that towns as Ficksburg and Senekal are still using names of colonial generals whom he says that they have removed Makholokwe people from the current Qwaqwa and took their livestock.
“President Brand who unleashed canons on the Basotho nation, his statue is right in the middle of town, while statue of Nelson Mandela is found at the mountains where monkeys live. Brandfort town remained named after the above mentioned colonial general.”
Another example that Msimanga highlighted is that the Statue of Christiaan Rudolph De Wet whom Dewertsdorp is named after.“This is a man who was part of people of who negotiated for union of South Africa in exclusion of African majority of South Africa.”
It is reported that Vrede in Thabo Mofutsanyana resemble peace accord of people of European origin.“Our legislature is decorated with colonial coat of arms which is saying nothing about us, except reminding us of our painful past. Today our kids are named after European ancestors,” said EFF Provincial Secretary, Msimanga.
Msimanga says that it is normal for a black child to have names such as Des van Rooyen, Hebert, Piet because black people have accepted oppression, but people of European origin will not accept to be named Mahlomola Majake neither his race will accept this. Msimanga says that the reason is simple white people don’t compromise their culture they stick to it.
“There are people who deserve a special place in our history the list is endless let me mention but a few, Jeff Masemola, Nelson Mandela, Charlotte Maxeke, Bram Fischer, Beyers Nuade,Joe Slovo,Donald Woods, Nomzamo Mandela, Mangaliso, Albertina Sisulu, Sobukwe, Mahabane, Bantu Biko, Moshoeshoe, Hintsa, Makana, Sekhukhune.”
Recently, the Arts and Culture minister, Nathi Mthetwa has made a public announcement about a number of name changes for towns, cities and airports in the Eastern Cape province.
On the 23rd of February, the names changes were published in a government gazette and also includes a number of spelling corrections for existing geographical names as well as official registrations of new names.
The most controversial name is for Port Elizabeth, which is now known as Gqeberha. The Port Elizabeth International Airport is now called Chief Dawid Stuurman International Airport.