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FFPlus: Statement by Conrad Beyers, Freedom Front Plus spokesperson, on the Pretoria name issue (12/03/2010)

12th March 2010

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The Freedom Front Plus said in Pretoria that the party is in favour of a permanent negotiated agreement on the Pretoria/Tshwane name dispute according to which the name of Pretoria will still be retained. The party said that the name issue could be solved politically without one of the camps having to give up everything.

This reaction follows reports of the media agency SAPA, according to which a group which alleges to be the descendants of "King Tshwana" has asked for the changing of Pretoria's name to go ahead.

The name change of Pretoria in February of this year was withdrawn after talks between the FF Plus leader and deputy minister of Agriculture, Dr. Pieter Mulder and President Zuma.

According to Dr. Conrad Beyers, FF Plus councillor, Dr. Mulder's talks with President Zuma has bought time for the FF Plus and other groups to negotiate a settlement for the name of Pretoria.

"The way in which a combined name for Kwa-Zulu/Natal was found and the way in which the national anthem contains sections of both The Call of South Africa and Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika, serve as examples as to how the Pretoria/Tshwane name issue can be solved," Beyers said.

There is a golden opportunity to take a big step ahead for reconciliation in South Africa through resolving the name changing issue in a mutually acceptable way. The FF Plus asks that all communities' histories, both black and white, should be respected. The eventual name could possibly contain both Pretoria and Tshwane. Reconciliation does not mean that one group has to loose everything.

According to the FF Plus, the name of Pretoria has nothing to do with apartheid. The city is more than 150 years old and got its name long before the implementation of apartheid.

 

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