Mantashe: Pretoria should keep its name

Pretoria should remain Pretoria, while the greater metropolitan area should be named Tshwane, African National Congress secretary general Gwede Mantashe said in a report on Friday.

Gwede Mantashe told Beeld this decision would be ideal to everybody, but would only be achieved through negotiation.

“I see red when [civil rights movement] AfriForum insists that the city stay Pretoria and the city council insists the name be changed to Tshwane, because I know it will lead to confrontation,” he said.

Arts and Culture Minister Lulu Xingwana recently placed a notice in the Government Gazette announcing that Pretoria’s name would be changed to Tshwane. She retracted the announcement in the Gazette a week later after heavy protests from several quarters, including AfriForum.

Mantashe said it was important that white Afrikaans-speaking people protect that which is dear to them, but that they also needed to honour historic truths, like wars that drove out the original owners of the land.

He said Xingwana was going ahead with a public participation process about the possible name change so that everybody could contribute to the debate.—Sapa

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