EFF welcomes apartheid flag ruling - 'Now for Die Stem and statues'

The new South African flag.
The new South African flag.
Image: Gallo Images

The ANC and EFF welcomed the equality court ruling that declared the “gratuitous display of the old flag” as “prohibited speech, unfair discrimination and harassment”.

The order made by the court was sought by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, while AfriForum and others opposed it. The order was granted on Wednesday.

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The governing party said it agreed with the court that the display of the apartheid-era flag “impairs the dignity of black people and that those who display the apartheid flag consciously choose oppression over liberation”.

The EFF said the ruling was grounds for all symbols that represent the pre-democracy South Africa — such as statues and the Die Stem version of the national anthem — to be done away with.

“Long have we said that the apartheid flag, as well as all other apartheid symbols, must fall. We welcome this ruling as a milestone and victory in favour of all those who have been calling for the apartheid and colonial symbols in society to fall,” said EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

“It must be common cause that the apartheid national anthem must follow after its flag. The apartheid flag and its anthem belong to the same species. They are the two sides of one coin. When white supremacists display the flag, they salute it by singing Die Stem because they belong in the same anti-black racism performance acts.

“In light of this ruling, we call on [President] Ramaphosa to remove Die Stem from our national anthem. Forcing black people to sing Die Stem is like asking them each day to salute the apartheid flag,” he said.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said the judgment was a positive step towards the consolidation of a united South Africa.

Mabe said this would happen when all people of the land abandoned all symbols that represented the discriminating and racially divisive apartheid regime.

Said Mabe: “We believe that demonstrating any allegiance to apartheid symbols serves to undermine all efforts aimed at building a new democratic society that is based on the values of justice, equality and freedom.

“Displaying the apartheid flag is not only inconsistent with the values of our constitution but also tends to reverse all the gains we have made since 1994 to promote social cohesion and build a nonracial society.”