The FF Plus is calling on the DA or any other political party that shares its view on symbols not to jeopardise the engagement on this serious matter through opportunism and dishonesty, but rather to be open and honest and to cooperate to conserve our symbols in the interest of everyone in South Africa.
Given the FF Plus's long and hard struggle to ensure the conservation of all historical symbols in the country, particularly those of the Afrikaner, and the building out of the heritage landscape, the party finds the DA’s attempt to discredit this endeavour of the FF Plus for the sake of cheap votes both regrettable and inappropriate.
Last week, after an EFF motion to have all the so-called colonial symbols removed from the Free State, including the one of General Christiaan de Wet, came to the FF Plus's attention, the party's Free State leader, Mr Jan van Niekerk, immediately came out against it.
The FF Plus issued a national media release on the matter, which received extensive media coverage: "EFF's senseless motion promotes racial polarisation – 19 October 2019". The media release states, among other things, the following: "The FF Plus will oppose this motion. The FF Plus is fighting for a better dispensation that learns valuable lessons from the past and that is focused on the future."
With yesterday's (22 October 2019) vote on the motion, the FF Plus firstly proposed an amendment to the motion.
This amendment entails that the entire content of the EFF motion must be replaced with the proposal that the Free State Legislature must recognise the Afrikaner's fight against colonialism and their contribution to building up the Free State and that the heritage landscape of the Free State must be expanded and that no symbol, monument and / or statue should be removed.
The FF Plus proposed this amendment precisely because the ANC said that they agree with the content of the EFF motion, but that they differ with regard to the "procedure".
The fact that the FF Plus is very serious about the matter is self-evident and unambiguous. Thus, the party was shocked to learn of the attempt by the DA's leader in the Free State, Dr Roy Jankielsohn, to discredit the FF Plus's approach to the matter.
Dr Jankielsohn states, among other things, in a media release: "It is regrettable that the FF Plus did not join the DA in rejecting the motion altogether, but rather opted to take the motion and make a semantic exercise out of it …"
That is simply not true. The facts clearly show the FF Plus's sustained and explicit opposition to and action against the EFF motion. Dr Jankielsohn and the DA know this all too well. It is lamentable that the DA did not support the FF Plus's motion (amendment) that gives recognition to everyone's symbols and emphasises the fact that history cannot be changed.
The DA's actions come down to political opportunism that serves no purpose. The FF Plus would much rather have wanted to cooperate in an open and honest manner with other parties to ensure the conservation of our symbols and the introduction of new symbols that may be of value to other communities, without removing the existing ones.
While the DA is busy with cheap politicking by attacking and discrediting the FF Plus, we run the risk of losing all the symbols in the Free State. The FF Plus's amended motion was a concrete proposal aimed at honouring the Afrikaner's history and heritage, while acknowledging the fact that other symbols, monuments and statues should be added to expand our heritage landscape.
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