Don't botch Potch

One of the signatories to a compromise settlement which would end the legal battles over renaming Potchefstroom Tlokwe has reneged on the agreement just days after it was announced.

In a press release mayor Mapethle Mapethle and activist group Action Potchefstroom said the town would keep its original name, while the town council would be known as Tlokwe. Mapethle has since recanted, saying he did not know why his name was on the statement. He said Arts and Culture Minister Pallo Jordan would make the final decision on the issue.

Council sources told the Mail & Guardian that ANC party tensions on the council had forced Mapethle to backtrack. Lucky Tsagae, the ANC councillor who had originally proposed that Potchefstroom’s name be changed, said he knew nothing about a compromise.

Other councillors contacted by the M&G were too nervous to talk about the name issue, even off the record.

Theo Venter, chairperson of Action Potchefstroom, also attributed Mapethle’s recantation to tensions within the local ANC, but said he thought the issue would be resolved. “Even though we don’t have a final settlement on paper, the compromise is being seriously considered.”


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