iFP-ANC to square up in court

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The IFP in the eThekwini council is going to court to stop the ANC from renaming the Mangosuthu Highway in Umlazi after Griffiths Mxenge.

The IFP walked out of a council meeting on Wednesday at the Durban city hall in protest against the decision to approve the name change.

IFP caucus leader in the municipality, Thembi Nzuza, said they walked out after the ANC made it clear it was going ahead with the name change.

"We even adjourned the meeting and sat down with them trying to explain how this would add paraffin to fire, but they wouldn't listen," said Nzuza.

She said the names of their leaders they put forward were not considered.

"The ANC can expect hell from us. We will hold demonstrations in Durban and surrounding areas.

"We are going to court to stop them because we believe there's no justification in renaming the Mangosuthu Highway."

Nzuza said the Mangosuthu Highway was named after the IFP leader, whose fundraising efforts led to the construction of the Mangosuthu University of Technology.

The ANC's Visvan Reddy said the changes were long overdue.

He said those who oppose the name changes still live in the dark days of the past.

"It is 14 years into democracy and substantial changes must be seen. We can't pride ourselves as being in power but still have buildings and streets named after some people who never contributed to or never fought for freedom.

"We are forging ahead with name changes whether some people like it or not. The decision has already been made and we are not reversing it," said Reddy.

The DA also expressed disappointment at how the ANC used its majority to push through the controversial list of names it wants accepted.

DA caucus leader John Steenhuisen said they believe that the move was a major blow for reconciliation and nation building in the city, and that the insensitive and divisive nature of the name change process will regrettably unleash a backlash of civil disobedience and defiance.

Steenhuisen said they will be exploring avenues available to challenge the ANC, including the legal route.