Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

ANC demonstrates with Afrikaans Taal Monument that it grudges minorities their own identity

The events surrounding the Afrikaans Taal Monument and Museum (ATM) show that the ANC government grudges minorities, and Afrikaans speakers in particular, having their own identity.

It also confirms that the ANC only pays lip service or has no concept of what "diversity" means in South Africa's national motto of "Unity in Diversity".

Minister Nathi Mthethwa's stance on the matter removes all doubt about what the government considers transformation: An institution has only been truly transformed once it represents the entire population.

If it were up to him, he would probably prefer such cultural or minority groups to gradually disappear and be assimilated into the greater whole. But that is something that will never happen in South Africa.

Simply put, if one cultural group comprises ten percent of the population, it is not entitled to ten percent of the heritage sites in the country, but maybe to ten percent of every single heritage site.

And the same goes for schools, universities and every other area in which a group wants to express its own heritage and culture.

The Director-General for Sport, Arts and Culture, Mr Vusumuzi Mkhize, recently provided his own interpretation of Minister Mthethwa's plans, which clearly proves that the ANC was not quite expecting the public outcry against the proposed name change.

According to Mkhize, it is not so much about a name change, but that there must be "understanding" for the need for inclusivity and transformation.

Showing such "understanding" could automatically result in a change to the Monument's very nature so that it will include all languages spoken in the Western Cape.

And surely that paves the way for changing its name in the future.

What the ANC is demonstrating is not democracy, but tyranny of the majority, which is exactly how not to achieve nation building.

It is also typical of a failed state that wants to cover up its poor performance with senseless symbolic "victories", like name changes.

The Afrikaans Taal Monument was erected by a language community that was deeply impressed by the wonder of this young language and, just like today, cherished a special love for it.

Due to its roots, Afrikaans is already extraordinarily inclusive and the Taal Monument gives recognition, in a very authentic way, to its African, Eastern and European origins.

But ultimately, it is a monument for Afrikaans, erected by Afrikaans speakers for Afrikaans speakers, which belongs under the control of this language community, and not the government.

While the FF Plus will play its role as political party, the Afrikaans Taal Monument must not be reduced to a mere party-political pawn.

The Monument belongs to the Afrikaans language community, and also has a particular importance for Paarl where it is situated.

An institution consisting of the Afrikaans Language Council, the Drakenstein Municipality and civil organisations ought to take control of the Monument and the Museum.

The FF Plus finds it very hard to believe that the Afrikaans community will be jealous or feel excluded if another group were to decide to erect a monument out of love for its language.

The onslaught against Afrikaans is a transparent attack on the culture of the people who speak the language and who hold it dear.

It has very little to do with the structure of stone and concrete on a mountain behind Paarl.



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