Afrikaans Taalmonument

The Taalmonument in Paarl, Western Cape – Photo: Flickr / MartineVDA

ANC ‘want to REMOVE the Afrikaans’ from an Afrikaans-language moment

If they’re not spending R22 million on a new flag, the ANC is renewing its quarrels with the Afrikaans-speaking community of SA.

Afrikaans Taalmonument

The Taalmonument in Paarl, Western Cape – Photo: Flickr / MartineVDA

The ANC has encountered another stinging rebuke on Thursday, after they were accused of trying to target the Afrikaans language once more. Fresh from conceding defeat about the native tongue’s indigenous status this week, it seems we’ve got round two on the way.

Taking the Afrikaans out of the Afrikaans Taalmonument? It’s on the table…

The Afrikaans Language Monument (or Afrikaans Taalmonument) in Paarl is, according to several sources, set to undergo a name-change. Proposals from the department of Sports, Art and Culture allegedly want to ‘remove the Afrikaans language’ from the structure.

In what would be a highly controversial move, documents seen by politicians and trade unions alike confirm that Minister Nathi Mthethwa is mulling the idea of renaming the statue ‘on the grounds of inclusivity’.

Needless to say, these details have irked the DA. They recently squabbled with Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande on this topic, after he unsuccessfully tried to discredit Afrikaans as an indigenous language.

ANC embroiled in another language scandal

A legal opinion sought by Nzimande disagreed with his position. However, just days after this issue was put to bed, it seems another row is brewing between the ANC and Afrikaans speakers – infuriating the DA’s Head of Parliament, Leon Schreiber:

“This latest step by the ANC government is a further intensification of the onslaught against language diversity in general, and specifically against the place of Afrikaans speakers in South Africa.”

“Just as we gave Blade Nzimande a bloody nose, the DA is also already mobilizing against this latest hateful attack on our language by Mthethwa. We must protest against the ANC’s efforts to remove Afrikaans even from the Taalmonument.”

Leon Schreiber

ANC vs Afrikaans: Round two underway

Trade union Solidariteit have also issued a statement, accusing ANC ministers of trying to ‘steal the identity of a community’. One representative of the group has made a passionate defence of the language, arguing that no name-change can alter history.

“Who is going to steal a place that celebrates someone else’s identity and heritage, to stick someone else’s name on it? It will not change the symbolism after all. It will not change history, and it will not change the characteristics of Afrikaans or its place in society.”