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'Need for distinction'

By unknown | Feb 16, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Waghied Misbach

Waghied Misbach

Arts and Culture Minister Pallo Jordan says those who fought in defence of apartheid are like the Germans who fought for Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and should not be included on the Wall of Remembrance at Freedom Park.

Jordan also defended Afrikaner singer Bok van Blerk's right to sing about the Boer general Koos de la Rey, as long it was within the constraints of the constitution and did not call for arms against the democratic government.

Jordan said the Freedom Park people were still discussing the issue of including the names of former apartheid soldiers on the Remembrance Wall, but said there was a difference between those who fought against apartheid and those who supported the ideology.

"There has to be a distinction made between the people who fight for freedom and those in opposition. When I cast my mind back, I don't recall any wall of remembrance for people who fought on Hitler's side in the second world war. Many of them died for sure and many of them thought they were serving their country. They thought they were serving a good cause. But that is neither here nor there.

"At the end a choice had to be made. Either for Hitler or for freedom. In the South African instance too, I think the same measuring rod should be used," said Jordan.

Concerning the De la Rey song, Jordan said Van Blerk's audience had the right to demonstrate against the government and even had the right to display the old South African flag.

"Just as long as they do not call for an uprising against the state."

Jordan said the song was in "danger of being hijacked by a minority of rightwingers" who not only regarded De la Rey as a war hero, but wanted to "mislead" sections of the Afrikaans-speaking society into thinking it was a "struggle song" .


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