John Moodey MPL
DA Gauteng Provincial Leader
The DA in Gauteng condemns criticism by the Freedom Front Plus of a decision to change the name of Dr Verwoerd Laerskool to Meyerton Laerskool. The process was participatory and driven by the parents themselves and the fact is that 88 percent of the parents at the school agreed to the name change. This non-politicised process produced a politically neutral result acceptable to the vast majority of stakeholders but despite this the FF+ tried to politicise the entire project and undermine the legitimate outcome of a very consultative and democratic process.
The attitude of the Freedom Front Plus flies in the face of reconciliation and while the DA respects the right of the FF+ to express their opinion on this matter, it is unfortunate that they cannot celebrate a renaming process that contributes to nation building and reconciliation. It is indicative of the fact that the FF+, much like the ANC, prefers to play and fuel divisive politics instead of seeking legitimate outcomes following a broad consultative, participatory and democratic process.
The DA-led Midvaal Municipality, under the leadership of Mayor Timothy Nast, both supported and contributed to this decision. As history has demonstrated, renaming processes are fraught with challenges. However, this process was inclusive and achieved the result of removing the name of Apartheid architect Hendrik Verwoed. I applaud the leadership of Mayor Timothy Nast and the parents of Meyerton Laerskool in this process.
South Africans are trying to overcome the legacy of apartheid and build a rainbow nation and anything that contributes to this aim should be encouraged and supported.