These name changes are all shocking, and disgusting to the sensibilities of all decent-minded people; for many of these people were terrorists. But certainly one of the most shocking of all, because of how “close to home” it is for the people of the area, is the proposal to rename Kingsway Road, in Amanzimtoti, as Andrew Zondo Road, in honour of a terrorist bomber who killed five people. He was sentenced to death in 1986 for planting a bomb in a rubbish bin at the Amanzimtoti centre the year before, which killed two women and three children and injured many more. The DA’s caucus leader in Durban, John Steenhuisen, said, “We will be mobilising people to object. The process and choice of many of the names is deliberately provocative.” Speaking about the call to rename Kingsway Road after Zondo, he said, “”It’s almost akin to renaming a street in New York after Osama bin Laden. It’s highly insensitive.” And Tony Leon said, “To append the name of Andrew Zondo to a highway in Amanzimtoti, where this saboteur killed five people in a bomb attack during the 1980s, looks like a calculated slight to the families of his victims.”
The South African Communist Party (SACP), however, voiced its support for renaming the road after Andrew Zondo. It said: “The SACP… regrets the loss of life in the Amanzimtoti bombing. Comrade Andrew Zondo was a member of MK and part of the armed struggle and he undertook his activities at the height of apartheid repression… [He] sacrificed his life in the cause of the national liberation and is to many a hero.” It called on the municipality to educate the public about the “meaning of his activities as contribution to coming to terms with our past.” It added: “We believe there is a need for those who benefitted from apartheid, to reciprocate the generosity shown by those who suffered under apartheid.” What deceivers and doublespeakers Communists always are! They say they regret the loss of life caused by Zondo – yet they call him a hero who gave his life as a “sacrifice”. He didn’t sacrifice his life, he was executed because of his crimes! He murdered five people – and now we’re to believe that he is the hero? What “generosity” did he show to his victims?
Another proposal, to honour a notorious armed robber, murderer and rapist by renaming a road after him, has been met with shock and anger by opposition parties in Durban. His name was S’bu Mkhize, SA’s most wanted man at the time, who carried out a reign of murder, robbery and rape. Although the ANC at the time distanced itself from his crimes, he was particularly brutal when attacking members of the Inkatha Freedom Party, the ANC’s main rival in the province. He and his gang were cornered in a house in Isipingo in 1992. When he was called upon to surrender, he lobbed grenades at the police and his gang opened fire with machine guns. The police brought in armoured vehicles to demolish the house, and he and his gang were killed. At the time of his death, the police had more than 10 warrants of arrest out for him.
And now the ANC in Durban wants to rename the R603 road through Umbumbulu after this gangster – the very area in which he committed most of his crimes! In the words of the IFP’s caucus leader in the Duran municipality, Thembi Nzuza, the IFP is “sickened” by this proposal. “He killed a lot of our people and our supporters, that one. He was a common criminal who preyed on the weak and the old. He was a murderer and a criminal and a robber.”
IFP leader, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, is not one to whom the ANC listens. This is a pity, for he has wisely cautioned what he calls a “gloating” and “disdainful” ANC to be careful about “airbrushing” certain groups, particularly the Afrikaners and the Zulus, out of history, so as to give prominence to ANC-affiliated people alone. He said that name changes should only be done “with regard for the fact that a part of South Africa’s linguistic and cultural heritage traces its roots to white Africans”, namely the Dutch and British immigrants who started arriving at the Cape 350 years ago. Wise words indeed. As history shows with many examples, this kind of blatant cultural obliteration increases bitterness and resentment, and in time it so often leads to yet further uprisings and bloodshed.
But dictatorial leaders never learn from history. When they come to power, they have an opportunity to make all the diverse peoples living within the geographical territory they rule feel welcome, feel as though they have a place in the sun. But they never make use of this opportunity. Instead, they inevitably advance only the interests of their own people at the expense of all others. And as surely as night follows day, this leads to still further resentment, bitterness, animosity, anger, and eventually, bloodshed. English and Afrikaans South Africans may have lost power in SA; they may at the moment be a despised minority in the country they ruled so well for so long; but the resentment, bitterness, frustration and anger is building up all the time, as they see themselves marginalised, their history eradicated, their people murdered and raped. And inevitably, there will be a backlash. It may not occur this year, or next year, or a decade from now, or two decades. But it will inevitably come. This is the nature of men everywhere.