Last year, 12 August 2009, I wrote about the ‘Louis Trichardt – Makhado’ controversy in a posting titled, Limpopo Province – A Heritage Under Siege!
A brief rundown of the facts are as follows:
In October 2005 the Louis Trichardt Chairperson's Association, an alliance of 51 organisations representing more than 80,000 residents of the town, fought the name change in the Pretoria High Court. They claimed that less than 1% of the towns total inhabitants were consulted about the name change and that a public meeting advertised to discuss the change was rescheduled without any notification, resulting in a very small attendance. (dirty government tactics). They also held that “Makhado” was never the name of a person, and that the town Louis Trichardt didn't displace any other settlement in the area. The Pretoria High Court dismissed their application in November 2005, but gave them permission to appeal the decision. In January 2006 the group decided to do just that. On 29 March 2007, the Supreme Court Appeal (SCA) ruled in favour of an appeal to reverse the name change.
Five (5) Appeal Judges ruled that the towns name must remain “Louis Trichardt”.
The lawless and arrogant Guwermunt ignored the March 2007 ruling of the Supreme Court, and continued referring to the town as “Makhado”. 1000’s upon 1000’s of glossy maps, leaflets, tourist guides, etc.. with the “illegitimate” new K4 name where printed and distributed countrywide. Road signs were never changed back to the legal and official name of “Louis Trichardt”.
The situation is utterly and completely hopeless!
As mentioned in my previous posting, I have close relatives living in that town, who retired there years ago when the beautiful and neat town was still renowned for its quiet and tranquil atmosphere. The entire situation changed practically overnight when Illegal African immigrants “colonized” the place by the hordes. Properties in the area have dropped to such ridiculously low values that white inhabitants, mainly elderly folk, residing there have no choice but to stay put. These elderly white folk are often the victims of various forms of abuse by the local blacks, who don’t seem to have any regard for privacy, or any respect for elderly people. Contacting the local police for assistance has proven to be a useless exercise.
Limpopo Geographical Names Change Committee Chairperson Boy Mamabolo told Polokwane Observer that the name Makhado was approved by the National Geographical Names Change Council last week after a presentation by the committee and subsequent verification. He continued saying that the Minister of Arts and Culture is expected to make the announcement in Parliament in due course before the next council meeting, -- but I know for a fact that the Lulu Xingwana (Minister of Arts and Culture) has not even given any official final approval yet. They don’t give up do they?
Weren’t controversial issues such as these supposed to stay on hold until after the 2010 Soccer World Cup, -- or was that only applicable to the name change of Nelspruit to Mbombela? I cannot keep up with all this drivelling monkey-claptrap-tricks anymore! (See my previous posting - Signs of the times)
The full story concerning the latest Makhado controversy can be viewed online here in Afrikaans, and here in English.
Sources: praag.co.za and www.observer.co.za
Related Posts on this Blog:
Limpopo Province – A Heritage Under Siege!
Illegal immigrants put strain on police
The Last Resort – A Memoir of Zimbabwe
A strategy to suffocate minority groups
Signs of the times
Mpumalanga – A three day excursion