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Thread: A case of the pot calling the kettle black.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    A case of the pot calling the kettle black.

    Here we go again - selective memory hard at work.

    Now there's a call to drop Natal from Kwazulu Natal because "Natal is dripping with blood" (from M&G).

    Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini's suggestion that KwaZulu-Natal's name be changed should be supported because the current name is associated with suffering and humiliation, the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) said on Monday.

    "Natal is a colonial name. The name was coined by Vasco da Gama, a Portuguese navigator because he arrived in this part of African on December 25 1497. Natal means Christmas Day in Portuguese.

    "But Natal has also caused much suffering, dispossession [and] humiliation of African people and murder of African leaders there.

    "Much blood was caused to Africans at the Battle of Encome [Blood River] where thousands were killed for protecting their own country against the invading colonialists greedy of African land," said PAC president Motsoko Pheko.
    It gets better.
    "Names tainted with the genocide and holocaust cannot be kept by any self-respecting nation except the most docile people on Earth," Pheko said.

    --and--

    Pheko suggested that the province be called simply KwaZulu or "some other appropriate name".
    How did the Zulu take the kingdom? Or maybe that's the bit of history that needs to be rewritten.

    One thing's for sure - if the Truth and Reconciliation process was supposed to get us over our history so that we can move on in harmony, the effect has definitely worn off in some parts.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Aargh! Here we go again.

    This story in M&G relates to the renaming of JHB International Airport (amongst other place name changes).
    Twenty days remain for final comment on the name changes, many of which are simply corrections of spelling mistakes. The airport will be named after African National Congress anti-apartheid stalwart Oliver Tambo, who died in 1993.

    Department of Transport spokesperson Collen Msibi told the Mail & Guardian Online on Monday that "an overwhelming number of people" have expressed support for the name change, though he could not give exact figures or say whether any objections had been received.

    The department is involved in the name change because the airport is one of its assets, though it is managed by the Airports Company South Africa (Acsa).

    Department of Arts and Culture spokesperson Premy Appalraju said the Ekurhuleni metro, Johannesburg metro, South African Airways, Acsa and the Tambo family were consulted on the name change. Though the department had received "some objections from individuals", there was overwhelming approval of the change, she said.

    Appalraju could not say what the name change would cost, but said the expenditure would form part of "transformation issues, as requested in the Budget".

    "The feeling is that you cannot quantify ... reconciliation in monetary terms," she said, referring to the airport's renaming as "symbolic reparation".
    Now can anyone recall the official reason for renaming from Jan Smuts International to JHB International Airport? Something about not using people's names for airports to avoid divisive sentiment.

    And what's this about reparation?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    I don't really have a big issue whether they rename it or not, but it does seem to be a bit silly. It makes sense for the name to be "neutral" (as per the original renaming decision) rather than to follow some political party's naming policy. What does it really achieve, and I'd rather see the "transformation budget" being spent on activities that have real outcomes.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Duncan - I agree with you 100%.

    What's killing me is that this reflects an underlying mindset amongst the powers that be. A symptom of a much deeper problem.

    We're regressing instead of joining hands and moving on.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Bronze Member Alan's Avatar
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    I cant help feeling that this is just another distraction tactic for something looming.
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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Alcock
    What's killing me is that this reflects an underlying mindset amongst the powers that be. A symptom of a much deeper problem.

    We're regressing instead of joining hands and moving on.
    It is something that really worries me - what is the deeper problem? I'm sure that both Nelson and Desmond would like everyone to move on from these type of actions and instead of pussyfooting around the real issues and pushing paper get out there and start taking care of some of the real needs that must be addressed.

    The TRC was a watershed for this country, or at least for certain people, but it seems totally lost on others. I've not really done any reading on it, so most of what I know is from others who have.

    Essentially it was the point when we tried to put the issues of the past behind us and, as you so aptly put it Dave, join hands and move on. In a lot of ways I believe that it worked. The release that came from that experience provided a cleaner slate to start from.

    What worries me is this "deeper problem" - mainly because I'm not really sure what it is. Is the problem politicians trying to look good and do little (i.e. change names, but not deliver good health services)? Is it the fact that someone with JZ's views continues to get support? Is it the unspoken tension between Zulu and Xhosa? Is it that we've not really managed to shake off our morbid history, and are still stuck in the politics and thinking of that time?

    Maybe more importantly - am I contributing towards the problem or towards the ideal that I would like to see?
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    Silver Member Candy Bouwer's Avatar
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    I think that there is a very devious minipulation going on and all the heads are involved - these blowups that keep poping up, i'm sure are shuffles to discredit each other in rankings of power. Be it on the simple home front issues - names changing - or sport squables. Masks are being used everywhere and finger pointing at its most rife.... i don't know that we could contribute to the ideal at present.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsd
    It is something that really worries me - what is the deeper problem?
    To my mind, in a word, the problem is "attitude".

    There seems to be a growing chorus who think it's OK to keep rehashing the past. In the words of John Maxwell - "If you keep looking at the past, it will be your best day".

    How long can we afford to blame our current situation on our past? If we are to move forward, we need to focus on the future.

    The chorus seems to be made up of two groups:
    • Those on the fringes seeking to improve their exposure by taking cheap shots, and
    • People in the mainstream who already drive agendas.
    Of the two, it is the second group that troubles me most. Underlying attitude is reflected in the statements, and the rhetoric seems to be growing more divisive and inflamatory (as opposed to unifying and conciliatory).
    "The feeling is that you cannot quantify ... reconciliation in monetary terms," she said, referring to the airport's renaming as "symbolic reparation".
    That little sentence sends shivers down my spine.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    on a lighter note

    Have a look at this for the lighter side of the renaming...
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Oh Duncan, that should have come with a coffee warning
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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