The EFF has vowed to fight tooth and nail to have Cape Town International Airport named after the late struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
The party, whose motion to have the name changed was rejected by the ANC in Parliament this week, will now wait until June when Airports Company SA’s (ACSA’s) public consultations on renaming the airport are concluded.
EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the party would not back down until the airport was renamed after Madikizela-Mandela. “We will await the ACSA resolution and we will see what happens. Parliament is closing on the 20th. They don’t want Mam Winnie. We will have a new Parliament that wants her,” Ndlozi said.
Madikizela-Mandela’s daughters Zindzi and Zenani have not yet spoken up on the proposal being thrown out. This week, Zindzi posted videos of her late mother on Twitter, saying although she was gone, she would never be forgotten.
Independent Media’s attempts to contact both women for comment were unsuccessful.
After the EFF’s motion failed, analysts said political parties were “playing politics”.
Somadoda Fikeni said: “The EFF is playing politics; it is a fascinating thing. With elections coming and them trying to position themselves as the radical party, they will look for a Chris Hani… and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela to champion their cause, as you saw in Parliament. They want to own her and say, ‘She was more with us than the ANC’.
ACSA has given the public until June 6 to submit names for the renaming of the airport. Once the public process is complete, a report of conclusions and recommendations will be compiled.
Other names put forward include Struggle icons Albertina Sisulu, Nelson Mandela, Chris Hani, Robert Sobukwe, and Alex La Guma.
In response to the motion, ANC MP Dikeledi Magadzi said the party would appraise all names put forward, and consider someone who was “tried and tested, someone who has substance and virtue in the society”.
Ndlozi hit back, saying: “We have been speaking about Mam Winnie long before it was fashionable, before the elections came. We have been very passionate about that woman; we are not going to stop talking about her because it is elections. That is why they are trying to change the focus and discourse, so that is about the elections, not her.”
Political analyst Levy Ndou said the ANC had no issue with renaming the airport after Madikizela-Mandela but could not stand the fact that the EFF had brought forward the motion.
He also claimed that the EFF had access to the ANC’s private resolutions and was parading them as their own.
“The ANC would not want to be seen supporting views that are coming from the EFF. That should be the reason why it rejected the motion. Whether they like it or not, the discussion has been there within the ANC to rename the airport; this (rejecting the EFF’s motion) is a strategy by the ANC to punish the EFF. That you take our ideas and want to make them your own,” said Ndou.
“The issue at this point is that the ANC is very… worried that what it is discussing is publicly pronounced by the EFF.”
Other airports in line to have their names changed include the East London Airport, Port Elizabeth International Airport, and Kimberley Airport, as part of the Transformation of Heritage Landscape government programme.
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