PUBLIC DEBATE ON NAME CHANGE RESTARTS
The Louis Trichardt municipality will restart public consultations around changing the town's name to Makhado.
The municipality's decision comes after South Africa's appeal court rejected the name of Makhado, citing lack of sufficient consultation.
The supreme court of appeal in Bloemfontein ruled in favour of the Chairpersons' Association, an organisation opposed to the name change.
Peter Magwala, municipal spokesman for Louis Trichardt, confirmed yesterday that the council had taken a resolution to restart the consultation process .
"It is true that the process of consulting with the people of Louis Trichardt regarding their views on the name change is going to be restarted," he said.
But he said a committee to oversee the process would have to be formed before the consultations could begin.
"We respect the supreme court of appeal's ruling against our initial move to change the town's name," said Magwala.
"We now want people to tell us which name they prefer because the people must also have a say in decisions made by the municipality."
Andre Naude, chairman of the Chairpersons' Association, yesterday said the basis for the association's objection was that the council had acted unilaterally and had not debated the change.
"The guidelines issued by the National Geographic Name Change Committee are that name changes are put in place to preserve cultural heritage and not to destroy it.
"What the municipality was doing was basically collective racial discrimination against a minority cultural group. If not that, it was based on vengeance," said Naude.
Makhado was a Venda warrior who fought against colonial rule.