×

We've got news for you.

Register on SowetanLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

Anger at Mthethwa over R22m flag ‘misdirected’, says DA MP Macpherson

The plan by the ministry of sport, arts and culture to spend R22m on a 'monumental' flag is under review. File photo.
The plan by the ministry of sport, arts and culture to spend R22m on a 'monumental' flag is under review. File photo.
Image: THE HERALD/MIKE HOLMES

DA MP Dean Macpherson says the anger towards sports, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa over the R22m monumental flag project is misdirected.

Macpherson said if cabinet approved the project, its chair, President Cyril Ramaphosa, should be held accountable. 

He said the condemnation of Mthethwa over the project isolates Ramaphosa from his “useless” cabinet, which should not be the case. 

Everyone is mad at Nathi Mthethwa over the R22m flag, but this is misdirected. If cabinet supported this waste of money, you should be angry at the chair of cabinet, Cyril Ramaphosa, who agreed to this expenditure. Stop trying to divorce Cyril from useless ministers,” he said on Thursday. 

The project has been at the centre of criticism from the public and political parties including the EFF and DA, who said the money could be better spent uplifting struggling artists and athletes.

The department said the project is meant to promote patriotism and education about the flag’ significance. 

It was announced on Thursday that Mthethwa has directed his department to review the process related to the flag in its totality after widespread criticism.

“Over the past few days, the minister of sport, arts and culture has followed and taken note of public discourse that has unfolded in respect of the envisaged monumental flag.

“The diversity of voices around this important heritage project are a welcome celebration of our country’s vibrant constitutional democracy and the freedoms that must be upheld beyond posterity. It also bodes well for one of the pillars of social cohesion which is an active citizenry.

“In upholding these ethos and the inalienable rights of citizens to be heard, the minister of sport, arts and culture has directed his department to review the process related to the monumental flag in its totality,” it said. 

Speaking during the Black Business Council summit in Midrand on Thursday, Ramaphosa said he told the minister to cancel the controversial project.

“Mthethwa comes to me and says, ‘President, please tell me when I can call you.’ I say, ‘Mthethwa I am in a cabinet committee meeting, we will talk afterwards.’

“I call him back and he says to me, ‘President, this flag thing, which is such a wonderful initiative, it seems our people are not happy with it.’ And I say, ‘Of course they are not happy with it. Cancel this thing,’” said Ramaphosa.

PODCAST | What if a pro-black organisation wanted to use the old SA flag to critique the ANC?


Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

Commenting is subject to our house rules.