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FF Plus: DA renamed Verwoerd Primary to gain black voters

Sapa

The Democratic Alliance has condemned the Freedom Front Plus over its criticism regarding the name change of Dr Verwoed Primary School in Meyerton.

Democratic Alliance MP's John Moodey and Ian Ollis. (Simphiwe Nkwali, Gallo)

"The attitude of the Freedom Front flies in the face of everything South Africans are trying to do, to overcome the legacy of apartheid and build a rainbow nation," the Gauteng leader for the Democratic Alliance (DA) John Moodey said.

"The DA applauds the leadership of [Midvaal municipal] mayor Timothy Nast and the parents of Meyerton Laerskool in this process."

He said renaming the school in Meyerton that carried the name of apartheid architect Hendrik Verwoerd was a move towards nation building. The important factor was that parents were consulted and 88% of them agreed to the decision.

On Friday, Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) said the move to change the name was all about political correctness.

FF Plus leader in the province Jaco Mulder said the mayor forced parents and the school governing body on short notice to agree to his "one-sided party-political message" of re-naming the school.

The DA's action was a bid to strengthen their support among black voters, said Mulder.

"The fact that Dr Verwoerd won the parliamentary election in 1958 as MP for Heidelberg with Meyerton as part of the ward ... and that the first public event that Verwoerd attended as prime minister had been in Meyerton and was attended by approximately 80 000 people, are being disregarded by the actions of the DA."

Nast said Mulder had a personal political agenda.

"I am not in a position to force parents and the school governing body to change the name of a school. I was asked for an opinion on the matter by the school."

According to Nast, about 88% of the parents voted to have Dr Verwoerd Primary School's name changed, and he only agreed with them on the issue. – Sapa.

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