Kingdom Mabuza

Kingdom Mabuza

The City of Johannesburg says the magnitude and historical significance of Reverend Sam Buti's contribution to Alexandra motivated the renaming of a major street after him.

The city's director of communications, Gabu Tugwana, said the renaming of Selborne Street after Buti did not contradict the city's naming and renaming policy which excludes names of living people.

Tugwana told Sowetan yesterday that honouring Buti, who is still alive, was an "exceptional" case.

"In terms of the city's policy, exceptional circumstances are not explicitly defined, and are evaluated per application," said Tugwana.

He said the renaming of the street to Rev Sam Buti Street was motivated by his momentous contribution to the retention and preservation of Alexandra at the height of apartheid.

"That was deemed to be an exceptional circumstance," he said.

Other than Buti, who still resides in the township, the names of six other late heroes who put Alexandra on the map in the resistance against apartheid will be immortalised.

President Kgalema Motlanthe, Gauteng Premier Paul Mashatile and City of Joburg mayor Amos Masondo will address the renaming ceremony, which will be held at Alexandra Stadium from 7am tomorrow.

Rooth Street is to be renamed after Josias Madzunya, a prominent activist and co-founder of the Pan Africanist Congress together with Robert Sobukwe in 1959.

Vasco da Gama will be renamed after Florence Moposho, the first woman to be elected to the ANC's NEC. She died in exile in 1985.

Hofmeyr Street will become Richard Baloyi, who was a businessman and an activist.

Roosevelt Street will be renamed after the former general secretary of the ANC, the late Alfred Nzo, who lived in the township before going into exile.

London Road will be renamed Vincent Tshabalala, a student activist who went into exile and later died in a street battle with police at the corner of London Road and 12th Avenue in 1985.

Alexandra Stadium will be renamed after Meshack Kunene, who was killed by police during a welcome rally for Nzo.